USEG is organized as a Delaware Limited Liability Company (“LLC”). USEG has six subsidiary companies, including two operating companies, U.S. EcoGen Services, LLC, and U.S. EcoGen Trading, LLC, as well as four project companies; U.S. EcoGen Polk, LLC, U.S. EcoGen Okeechobee LLC, U.S. EcoGen Clay, LLC and U.S. EcoGen Martin, LLC. U.S. EcoGen Services, LLC (“USEG Services”) is the operating entity which will be responsible for providing operations and maintenance (“O&M”) services to the projects. U.S. EcoGen Trading, LLC ("USEG Trading") will provide fuel transportation, logistical and inventory management services to the project companies.
Each U.S. EcoGen Biomass Electrical Generating Facility (“Generating Facility”) will utilize proven conventional direct-fired biomass boiler and steam turbine technology in a “bottom cycle” configuration to minimize project development, construction completion, and performance risk and to deliver enhanced facility operating characteristics. Each USEG Generating Facility will have several discrete components. Those components include the Fuel Supply Boiler Island, the Power Island, Electrical Interconnection Facilities and the Administrative Areas.
The Fuel Supply area will contain all of the equipment and systems required to weigh, unload, classify, chip and store biomass fuel and convey it from the receiving area to the feed hoppers, which meter the biomass fuel into the boiler. The Boiler Island receives the biomass fuel from the Fuel Supply area and converts a portion of the chemical energy contained in the biomass fuel to thermal energy in the form of superheated high pressure steam. This conversion process involves the combustion of the biomass fuel in a fluidized bed boiler. The products of combustion leave the boiler as cooled flue gas, which is scrubbed using state-of-the-art air emission control technology, before leaving the emission stack into the atmosphere. The solid residue or ash left over from the efficient combustion process will be used as a Plantation soil conditioner.
The Power Island receives the superheated, high pressure steam from the boiler and converts a portion of the thermal energy contained in the steam to electrical energy within the condensing/extraction steam turbine generator. Additional equipment in the Power Island includes the condenser, pumps, piping and associated controls. The electrical energy generated in the steam turbine is increased in voltage to USEG’s utility customer’s transmission line voltage by the main power transformer located within the switchyard. The switchyard, switchgear, conductors, breakers, meters, controls and transformers comprise the equipment within the Electrical Interconnection facilities. The operators and plant management of the USEG Generating Facility are housed within the Administrative area. This area includes the control room, laboratory, parts room, machine shop, administrative offices and guardhouse facilities.
USEG will implement a vertically integrated, Closed Loop, biomass fuel production and transportation program that will serve to mitigate commodity and price risk associated with its biomass fuel supply chain. The Closed Loop fuel supply program will include cultivating clean woody biomass, primarily fast growing species of non-invasive Eucalyptus, which will be purposely grown on lands that are to be owned or leased by U.S. EcoGen Trading, LLC. USEG Trading may also establish joint ventures or other supply arrangements with major agricultural companies for the Closed Loop supply of biomass fuel, on a dedicated basis to the USEG’s Generating and Pellet Facilities. USEG also will establish a state-of-the-art logistics, fuel harvesting, transportation and inventory management infrastructure. The biomass fuel will be harvested as round wood, transported via truck, rail or barge and stored at the USEG Generating Facility site. The round wood will be chipped, placed under covered storage and delivered to the boiler day bin and Pellet Facility on a material handling system.
USEG will supply its generation and pellet facilities with clean woody biomass from dedicated, purposely grown, fast growing tree species. Unlike the ethanol industry in the U.S., which uses corn and other food crops, USEG will not compete with other sources of biomass such as building materials, paper/pulp markets or food commodities. In the State of Florida USEG will focus on developing plantations of fast growing eucalyptus tree species. Eucalyptus trees reach maturity quickly and when harvested, will regrow or "coppice" from the original tree stump, providing a long term, sustainable supply for "Home Grown Power". Because the growth process is accelerated, the amount of carbon sequestration which takes place during the growing process is also accelerated, effectively making the process of developing and combusting eucalyptus biomass "carbon neutral".
U.S. EcoGen Trading, LLC will be a producer of high quality, high energy content and low emission wood pellets manufactured from biomass grown on USEG's Eucalyptus Plantations located in the State of Florida. USEG Pellets will be manufactured from fully renewable and fully sustainable feedstock for trade on the global energy market, without creating commodity price pressure on existing wood and food supply markets. By 2025, USEG will have production capabilities in excess of 4 million metric tons per year
Round wood will be delivered from the Plantation to the Pellet Facility where it is chipped, milled, mechanically dried and pressed into one of the most consistent and superior wood pellets available on the market. Each Pellet Facility location will be accessible by road and by rail and are in close proximity to deep water ports where pellets will be loaded for shipment to USEG Trading's international customers by way of large Panamax, dry bulk shipping vessels.
USEG will use biomass direct fired electric generating facilities as its Standard Reference Plant Design, while maintaining the option of developing wind, solar and combined cycle natural gas projects when feasible.