Biomass-to-Bioenergy Primer

The February meeting will feature a presentation by Steve Brink of the California Forestry Association on what needs to be considered in owning and operating a biomass power plant.  In addition there will be updates on the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) and Scoping Study.

Steve Brink graduated from the University of California at Davis with a degree in civil engineering and later completed post graduate studies in Forest Engineering at Oregon State University (1981).  He retired in 2005 from the U.S. Forest Service after 37 years, including ten assignments in Regions 4 and 5, the National Office, and was Region 10 (Alaska) Deputy Regional Forester-Resources.  His Forest Service career focused on engineering and land management planning.  He has been with the California Forestry Association as Vice President for Public Resources since July, 2005.  He focuses on wood supply from California’s National Forests, forest-related national statutes, regulations, and Interior appropriations, California diesel engine rules, and carbon accounting for cap-and-trade and carbon offset programs.

Six critical things to focus on when considering a biomass power plant are:

  1. Forest biomass feedstock;
  2. Mechanical thinning acres required to create the annual feedstock need;
  3. The advantage of a biomass power plant over open-field pile burning;
  4. The types and sizes of biomass power plants;
  5. The cost stump to power plant for the feedstock;
  6. Conclude with the total cost.

The MOA work group met with the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest Deputy Forest Supervisor and agreed on the final wording of the MOA, which is appended to the meeting agenda.  A signing ceremony is tentatively scheduled for the April meeting.  The final phase of the scoping study is expected to be completed in February with a presentation at the March meeting.  The Hot Springs Road Corridor work group is awaiting a decision by CALFIRE as to the success of the Fire Prevention Grant which is expected in March.

Our February meeting is scheduled for Tuesday February 4th at 6:00 pm at Turtle Rock Park.

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