CEC approves grants for forest biomass, biogas projects

By Anna Simet | September 19, 2017

A forest biomass-to-power project and two biogas projects were recently approved for grants by the California Energy Commission, via its Electric Program Investment Charge program.

The Fall River Resource Conservation District’s 2.8-MW Burney-Hat Creek Bioenergy Project is a proposed, modular biomass energy plant in Shasta County that will utilize material from CalFire-designated high-hazard zones. Via a gasification technology, will produce electricity, heat and biochar.  

The CEC also recently approved two research grants totaling more than $5 million, to study turning food and forest waste into bioelectric energy generation. More than $1 million was awarded to the University of California, Davis, for a project that will involve development of a forest waste-to-energy plant siting tool. It will allow project managers to look at several factors, such as environmental impacts, transportation costs, and location of fire hazard severity zones, when deciding on where and how to develop a bioenergy power plant that converts woody biomass into electricity. The tool is expected to decrease the predevelopment costs associated with siting bioenergy facilities.

Another research grant of $4 million was awarded to HZIU Kompogas SLO Inc. to construct, demonstrate, and operate a community-scale bioenergy facility in San Luis Obispo, on California’s central coast. The plant will convert San Luis Obispo County’s organic waste, including food and yard waste picked up from residential bins and commercial businesses, into power that will be exported to the grid. The plant will also produce liquid fertilizer for farming and residential gardening.