Georges River Energy
Georges River Energy (GRE) is an 8.5 megawatt biomass fired cogeneration power plant, located on the Robbins Lumber site in Searsmont, ME. Construction of the power plant began in 2016, and power was first put out on the grid in 2018.
Georges River Energy utilizes a KMW step grate biomass combustor as a heat source for the Rentech A-type water tube boiler. Steam at 900 psi and 900 degrees F is used to drive a Siemens SST-300 steam turbine. A portion of the steam passing through the turbine is removed and used to dry lumber in the eight kilns on site. Additionally, in the winter months, steam is used to heat the buildings throughout the Searsmont campus. A Flender gearbox reduces the turbine speed from 8,293 rpm to 1800 rpm to drive the WEG generator. The plant’s gross capacity is 8.5 MW, with a house load of 0.4-0.8 MW. The remaining power is pushed onto the electrical grid.
The power plant’s need for biomass gives all the Robbins Lumber divisions a place to get rid of their residuals from the lumber making process. It also benefits the local logging community by giving them a market for the tops and other low grade forest products.