Progress Energy Florida has signed a contract with Biomass Gas & Electric to purchase electricity from a second waste wood biomass plant planned for Florida.

Biomass Gas & Electric (BG&E) is planning to build a power plant in north or central Florida that will use waste wood products such as yard trimmings, tree bark and wood knots from paper mills to produce electricity. It would generate about 75MW, or enough electricity to power 46,000 homes.

The plant is expected to avoid the need to burn nearly five million tons of coal over the 20-year life of the contract. The plant will use gasification to produce electricity. Projected commercial operation is expected to begin in June 2011. In total, BG&E has four biomass power plants planned for construction in the next four years.

Jeff Lyash, president and CEO of Progress Energy Florida, said: Clean, renewable energy sources, such as this one, play a vital role in our balanced approach to managing Florida’s growing energy needs. This partnership continues our long history of supporting innovative technologies and promoting cost-effective, cleaner energy sources.