Babcock & Wilcox fires up new ideas
By Katie Byard |
Tue, 29 Jun 2010
Power-generation company taps into demand for green energy with solar, biomass technologie.
Babcock & Wilcox is well known for its massive coal-fired boilers made for electric utilities.
Today it is at the forefront of new technologies addressing environmental concerns.
was the message from Rich Killion, president and chief operating
officer of Babcock & Wilcox Power Generation Group Inc., who spoke
at a luncheon last week celebrating the 25th anniversary of the
Barberton Community Development Corp.
is home to B&W's Power Generation Group, with 1,500 employees in
the city and Copley Township, as well as B&W's Nuclear Operations
Group, with about 500 employees.
said employees at the Power Generation Group's research center — opened
three years ago in Barberton — are ''working hard to develop and
demonstrate new technologies to capture greenhouse gases, and develop
solar and biomass technologies.''
biomass — biological material such as wood — as an alternative to coal
cuts emissions linked to global warming. Biomass also can help meet
aggressive federal mandates for renewable electricity.
Killion said ''there is no silver bullet'' to meet the world's power
needs. Traditional coal-fired utility plants — as well as nuclear
plants — will have to be part of the energy mix, he said.
is developing solar boilers, Killion said, ''but one challenge there is
what to do when the sun goes down.'' Researchers are working to find
ways to store large amounts of solar energy for the off hours, he said.
Biomass has its limitations, too, he said. ''There's only so much wood or grass to burn.''
is a ''dirty word in much of North America,'' he said, but it's the
world's ''most cost-competitive and effective energy source.''
This country boasts enough coal reserves to last 250 years, he said.
opinion of nuclear power is improving, and the industry ''is on the
brink of a major comeback,'' he said. ''Some are calling it a 'nuclear
headquartered in Virginia, has expanded its nuclear operations in
recent years, and in 2009 introduced plans to build ''modular'' nuclear
power plants through a subsidiary, mPower.
Group moves forward
Community Development Corp. was founded in 1985 as Barberton was
reeling from manufacturing job losses. Among the group's initiatives is
using federal Community Development Block Grants as loans to spur
group boasts that over 25 years, it has had a hand in creating or
keeping 2,000 manufacturing jobs in Barberton. It said it has helped to
bring in more than $100 million of private investment, including
dollars for plant expansions.
The group's anniversary celebration Wednesday — at the Adult Active Center at the Lake Anna YMCA — also was a goodbye luncheon.
April, the development group's longtime executive director, Larry
Lallo, was picked to head the Barberton Community Foundation. This
organization frequently teams up with the development group.
Anders, president of the Barberton Community Development Corp.'s board,
said a search is ongoing for a new executive director. He said the job
probably will pay $60,000 to $75,000 annually.