In addition to manufacturing wood products, SDS produces power in its steam – operated power plant. Energy created by SDS qualifies as renewable energy because it is generated from renewable, organic resources. Examples of renewable energy systems include solar, wind, geothermal , and biomass energy. Biomass resources include any organic matter, available on a renewable basis, that can be used to provide heat, make fuels, or generate electricity. The residual waste wood that is burned in our boiler and converted into steam is a classic example of biomass.
Most of the energy used today — approximately 85% — is created with fossil fuels. Fossil fuels, which include oil, natural gas and coal, do not regenerate. Furthermore, emissions from fossil fuels systems are more polluting than renewable energy systems. Not surprisingly, there is an urgent push worldwide to generate renewable, environmentally friendly energy, such as the biomass energy produced at SDS.
We take great pride in knowing that 100% of the wood that enters the SDS mill has value and a purpose. Nothing is wasted. Though our state-of- the art mill uses the latest in technology to maximize the amount of lumber and veneer recovered from a single log, leftover residues inevitably exist. We sell sawdust and wood chips to paper companies and use bark and other wood waste – biomass – to fuel our steam plant.
Constructed in 1978, the SDS steam plant supplies the steam required by our lumber dryers, veneer dryers, log vats and plywood presses. With the remaining steam we generate electricity. The electricity is sold to the open market as “green power.” Currently, when running at full capacity, we generate 10.0 megawatts of electricity per hour. One megawatt of electricity supplies an average of 1000 households. The SDS steam plant has an electorostatic precipitator to control particulate emissions and guarantee that we meet or exceed clean air standards.
The SDS steam plant has an electorostatic precipitator to control particulate emissions and guarantee that we meet or exceed clean air standards.