Phoenix Energy projects offered PPAs from Pacific Gas & Electric

By Phoenix Energy | November 02, 2017

Phoenix Energy announced that two of its developments, North Fork Community Power and Blue Mountain Electric Co., received offers for power purchase agreements (PPAs) from Pacific Gas & Electric. The offers were awarded under the Bioenergy Market Adjusting Tariff (BioMAT), a program the California Public Utilities Commission developed to implement California Senate Bill 1122.

Under the PPAs, NFCP and BMEC will receive $199.72 per MWh exported to the grid for 20 years from commencement of operation. Once they are operating, Phoenix Energy expects the projects to collectively export 37,500 MWh per annum, equating to nearly $7.5 million of annual revenue from power sales, before revenue from biochar and other byproducts. NFCP and BMEC have two and ½ years from the date of contract award to interconnect to the grid.

NFCP, located in North Fork, California, and BMEC, in Willseyville, California, are forest-based biomass gasification plants.  The plants will utilize local forest biomass as well as fire threat reduction activities from the Sierra and Yosemite National Forest areas to make electricity, heat and biochar—a solid carbon byproduct that is used as a soil conditioner and filter media. The plants are the first projects that will use forest-based fuel to receive PPA offers.

Under the BioMAT program, which runs through February 2021, Pacific Gas & Electric expects to award 111 MW of PPAs to biomass power generators up to 3MW, with 47 MW reserved for those that utilize forest-based fuel.

“We are extremely excited to receive these PPA offers and look forward to working with PG&E to quickly complete the construction and interconnection of both the North Fork and Willseyville projects, providing California with clean, flexible electricity that can be produced around the clock while also reducing wildfire risk and sequestering carbon. These attractive PPAs reflect the value the projects will provide to the local wildfire threatened communities that are both our partners and hosts as well as to PG&E and the State of California,” said Phoenix Energy CEO, Gregory Stangl. Both projects are being constructed on former sawmill sites that each had large cogeneration plants in the 1990’s.

“In addition to generating valuable electricity, biochar and heat, these projects are fueled by excess and widely available forestry biomass. These projects will reduce fire danger and stop wasteful “pile and burn” disposal of excess forest material. California has numerous communities in the Sierra with a similar story,” continued Stangl.

Steve Wilensky, board chair of Calaveras Healthy Impact Product Solutions, said, “This PPA marks the culmination of 12 years of effort by hard working volunteers of the Blue Mountain communities of Calaveras County. We are thrilled to reach this key milestone.  We’re working to create jobs while making our community more fire safe and redeveloping a sustainable forest economy.”

Dan Rosenberg, president of the North Fork Community Development Council, which is a joint venture partner in the North Fork power plant added, “We are delighted to be able to combine environmental stewardship with job creation and sustainable energy production for our community.

Phoenix Energy is an independent power producer that develops and operates distributed generation biomass gasification plants in partnership with businesses and communities. By focusing on small plants in the 1-3 MW range, the company strives to keep electricity, heat and fuel local to the plant where the value of energy is highest and transportation costs are avoided.  The gasification technology also produces biochar, which serves to permanently sequester carbon in solid form and is valued as a soil conditioner and filter media.

Calaveras Healthy Impact Product Solutions Inc. is a small non-profit dedicated to triple bottom line outcomes; economic development, environmental restoration and revitalizing the Blue Mountain community. 

North Fork Community Power, LLC is a joint venture between Phoenix Energy and the North Fork Community Development Council that will own and operate the biomass gasification facility in North Fork, California.