Members of the Albany-Dougherty Payroll Development Authority meet Monday to discuss a renewable energy plant on the Procter & Gamble-Albany campus. (Staff photo: Carlton Fletcher)
ALBANY — The Albany-Dougherty Payroll Development Authority agreed Monday morning to a resolution giving consent to a sub-lease on Procter & Gamble-Albany campus property that would allow Albany Green Energy to build a renewable energy facility on the property.
The resolution was needed, PDA Chairman Jeff Sinyard said, because the authority had in 2009 taken ownership of the P&G property as a method of providing tax abatement to the home products maker. As owner of the property, the PDA must agree to a sub-lease that would allow Albany Green Energy, which is a projected spin-off of a north Georgia company, to build a facility north of the P&G campus that would provide steam and energy to the Albany plant. The energy would help P&G in its efforts to become more “green.”
Tim Swanson of Albany Green Energy told the Payroll Development Authority his company would use “residual forest products” to create steam and energy that would be used solely by the Procter & Gamble plant.
“It allows the company to utilize green energy and brings other benefits to their paper machines,” Swanson said.
While Sinyard acknowledged that the vote by the PDA is merely “one step in the process” of bringing the renewable energy plant to the P&G campus, he said it is a step in making the nation’s largest home products maker “sustainable in the region.”
“There’s all this talk about sustainability, but a healthy P&G plant is vital to sustaining some very essential jobs in our region,” Sinyard said. “This action today is a necessary step in a process that will enhance the capabilities of the P&G plant.”
Albany Mayor Dorothy Hubbard, who serves on the five-member PDA board and is also chair of the city’s Water, Gas & Light Commission, asked about job creation by the proposed renewable energy plant. Swanson said as many as 200 construction jobs would be necessary to build the energy plant, and that 25 “well-paying” jobs would be created to “keep the plant running.” The Albany Green Energy official also said logging crews in the region would be utilized at the facility, providing wood products necessary for biomass production.
Hubbard said she is concerned because the proposed renewable energy plant would lessen P&G’s reliance on natural gas, which is supplied by WG&L.
Swanson said, “This is only one necessary step in this process, but (building the renewable energy plant) creates a stronger commitment for P&G to remain in the community.”