Constellation power plants to test sorghum as fuel

Constellation Energy says it plans to test sorghum as a fuel for two California power plants.

The Baltimore-based company announced Wednesday that is has signed an agreement with Chromatin Inc., which is growing three fields of sorghum. If successful, Constellation says it will mark the first production-scale effort in California to generate power from a crop grown for energy production.

The Bakersfield and Fresno plants are owned by Constellation and North American Power Group. One uses coal and petroleum coke and the other burns agricultural and construction wood waste.

Constellation says the sorghum variety grows 10 to 15 feet tall in a few months and differs from smaller varieties grown for grain production. Greenhouse gases produced by burning the sorghum are consumed by the plants grown for the next harvest.

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