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Debate over Gainesville biomass plant highlights Florida’s renewable energy challenges

Florida's Public Service Commission recently approved plans for a new biomass plant in Gainesville. At 100 megawatts, it will be one of the largest power stations in the country that produce electricity from discarded plant matter. Proponents of the plant say biomass represents one of Florida's only opportunities to wean itself off fossil fuels; others question whether Florida's forests can sustain a significant increase in biomass energy production. The debate illustrates the challenges the state faces as it tries to increase investment in renewable technologies.