The Salix Consortium in New York Page: 1 of 2
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Energy crops for electricity production are becoming a reality. Led by Niagara Mohawk Power
Corporation, the Salix Consortium, formed in 1994, is an association of twenty corporations and
industrial, government agency, farming, and research organizations supporting commercial devel-
opment of willows for generating electricity. These fast-growing trees, developed through genetic
engineering specifically for maximizing growth and pest resistance, are grown for utilities across the
Northeast region for cofiring with coal in existing power plants.
The Salix Consortium's objectives are twofold. First, it
aims to establish willows as a commercial biomass energy
crop in the Northeast and upper Midwest regions. To do this,
it will attempt to develop a reliable market for willow at a
cost of less than $2 per million Btu by 2001. Second, it will
demonstrate and quantify the environmental and economic
benefits of cofiring willow with coal in existing electric
Several power companies have already announced tenta-
tive plans for participation. New York State Electric & Gas
Company's Greenidge Station (recently acquired by AES
Corp. of Arlington, VA) may cofire 5,000 tons of willow per
year grown on 400 acres near the plant. Since 1997, the
Greenidge station already has been cofiring wood obtained
from other (i.e., non-willow) sources. Further north on the
shores of Lake Erie, Niagara Mohawk's 600 MW Dunkirk
- 3 F
Willows such as these planted by the State University of
New York will soon be providing clean, renewable energy
from utility power plants throughout the Northeast region
Station (recently acquired by WILLOW TREES
NRG Energy Inc.) will cofire
willow grown on 400 acres WITH COAL IN UTILITY
near the station.
In addition to these plans,
the Salix Consortium has
planted willow at additional
trial sites at various loca-
tions throughout the Northeast to lay the basis for eventual
scale-up to commercial operation.
During 1999, Salix participants made a number of
" Cumulative planting of 300 acres of willow near the
Dunkirk Station and an additional 34 acres in four areas
of central New York
" Initiated construction to retrofit the Dunkirk Statioon for
" Completed preliminary design for retrofitting the Dunkirk
Station and fuel supply plan
" Installed biomass cofiring systems retrofit and conducted
test burns of willow at NYSEG's Greenidge Station
" Produced more than 850,000 willow cuttings at State
University New York at Syracuse-College of
Environmental Science and Forestry (SUNY-ESF) and
Saratoga Tree Nursery
" Modified and tested two willow planters (Cornell
University) and used these extensively in the 1999 spring
planting tests (200 acres).
Work will continue in 1999, including:
" Plant an additional 300 acres of willow near the
Dunkirk Station, scheduled for the spring of 2000;
harvesting is schedules for the winters of 2001 through
" Test the cofiring retrofit of Dunkirk Station
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Wulf, T. & Jones, J. The Salix Consortium in New York, book, September 28, 1998; Golden, Colorado. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc622761/m1/1/: accessed March 19, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.