Wouldn’t you know it. Nearly four years after the Austin City Council unanimously approved a $2.3 billion deal to build a biomass plant in East Texas, the contentious issue has again reared its head – emerging this time in the midst of a council election season and an electric rate case. The 100-megawatt facility near Nacodoches is scheduled to fire up for the first time this summer, officially joining Austin Energy’s alternative energy portfolio of solar and wind power.

The facility will provide 100 megawatts of energy fueled by wood waste, sawmill scraps, and broken pallets. The city has committed to an ambitious climate protection plan, with a goal of drawing 30% of its electricity from renewable sources by 2020. To meet this goal, the city entered into a 20-year agreement with Nacodoches Power (aka American Renewables) in August 2008. The following year, American Renewables sold the biomass project to Southern Power Company, which is one of the largest wholesale energy providers in the Southeast, according to its website.

Find the full article at the Austin Chronicle.