[NEWS] Arizona Biomass Developers Want Forest Service to Speed Up Forest Thinning
– by Emery Cowan, May 26, 2018, Arizona Daily Sun
APS is looking for new proposals that would use the small trees and branches from Arizona forests to generate a small portion of the energy the utility sends to customers around the state.
The idea is to provide a market for woody material that needs to be thinned from overcrowded, high-risk forests in northern and eastern Arizona in order to reduce the risk of severe wildfires, improve forest health and benefit watersheds.
There’s one big problem, though, according to the head of the state’s only utility-scale biomass power plant.
It will be much more difficult for interested companies like his to respond to APS’s request because the Forest Service hasn’t put forward a large-scale tree thinning contract that would provide a guaranteed supply of biomass — generally small trees, treetops and branches, said Brad Worsley, president and CEO of Novo Power.