[NEWS] Planned Biomass Facilities Still Simmering for Oregon
– by Hilary Corrigan, November 8, 2016, Bend Bulletin
While two firms continue to develop plans for new biomass facilities in Central Oregon that would produce power and fuel, a utility continues researching whether biomass could run its coal-fired power plant in the region.
Biogreen Sustainable Energy Co., based in Vancouver, Washington, still plans to build a 25 megawatt facility — first suggested in 2009 — on a nearly 20-acre site in La Pine’s industrial park.
“We’re just on hold,” said Rob Broberg, president of the firm.
Building the $75 million project depends on securing a contract to sell the power, likely to a utility in Oregon or California trying to meet requirements for renewable energy.
“I think this winter’s going to be very interesting,” Broberg said of progress on contracts.
The biomass energy process heats woody material — wood chips, branches from thinning waste or yard debris, for instance — and creates steam that runs turbines to generate electricity. The facility would use existing electric infrastructure, including power lines and a nearby substation, to connect to the electric grid.
Biogreen Sustainable Energy has its own supply of woody materials from its timberlands in Oregon, Washington and elsewhere, but could source the materials from nearby sites if they offer better deals, Broberg noted. The firm plans to seek county building permits in the future but already has land use and other approvals, he said.