Safe Energy  

BREDL Letter Expressing Concerns with Biomass as part of the NC GreenPower program

Deadline for this sign-on letter was Midnight September 16, 2009. It was mailed on September 17, 2009. Thanks to all who signed.

BLUE RIDGE ENVIRONMENTAL DEFENSE LEAGUE ~ PO Box 88 Glendale Springs, North Carolina 28629 ~ Phone (336) 982-2691 ~ Fax (336) 982-2954 ~

Dr. Robert Koger, President
NC GreenPower
909 Capability Drive, Suite 2100
Raleigh, NC 27606

September 17, 2009

Dear Dr. Koger:

As citizens, electricity consumers, and taxpayers in North Carolina, we write to express our concerns about NC GreenPower’s use of large-scale biomass fueled electric generating plants as suppliers to the NC GreenPower program. Specifically, we wish to question the program’s acceptance of poultry litter as fuel for steam-generating boilers. Burning poultry litter creates unnecessary pollution and is inconsistent with NC GreenPower’s mission to promote renewable energy while protecting the environment.

The announcement that Fibrowatt LLC is considering locations in North Carolina for a 50 MW plant that burns poultry litter raises not only environmental concerns about harmful emissions, but also financial concerns about subsidies to polluting industries. As a non-profit, you solicit donations that support renewable energy. Contributors to your program have a right to know that the premium on their utility bill supports resources they consider safe and non-polluting. NC GreenPower already has at least one supplier, Craven County Wood Energy, which burns a wide variety of “waste” wood, including poultry litter. Fibrowatt could seek similar subsidies as a “renewable” energy supplier.

North Carolina needs clean alternatives to its traditional coal and nuclear plants. It does not need new sources, like biomass burners, that replace one form of pollution with another. We urge NC GreenPower to evaluate the role biomass should play in our energy mix before adding new biomass facilities to the program. Specifically, we question the practice of burning poultry litter, that when properly managed, can be a valuable source of fertilizer for local farmers. Thus, we urge NC GreenPower to remove the incineration of poultry litter and other types of litter from the green energy program.

The opportunities to expand wind and solar, and the need to promote conservation and efficiency, deserve a larger role in NC GreenPower. We urge you to seek these safer solutions first and invest contributions from your subscribers in truly clean renewables.


Janet Marsh
Executive Director
Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League
Glendale Springs, NC

This letter was also signed by 50 citizens

More info: Fibrowatt Factsheet