Northwest Renewable News

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Possible Grant for Sustainable Wood Products in Baker Co. (OR) November 21, 2008

A $2 million grant is breathing life into planning for a new sustainable wood products industry in Baker County capable of providing income for woodland owners and low-cost power, heat, wood pellets and firewood to the community.

All combined, the analysis of available information suggests a range of 59,000 to 70,000 green tons of woody biomass supply each year. This does not include the 20,000 green tons of residential slash volume from completed harvest operations that (the Oregon Department of Forestry) estimates is currently piled on private forests,” according to the report.

Biomass from federal forests could add another 60,000 green tons to the supply, and possibly much more if forest officials authorize more thinning.

Christoffersen described a system where woodland owners would thin their timber stands and the larger logs not sold to mills would be cut and dried for firewood. Smaller trees and other woody biomass, including slash piles from logging, would supply the gasifier power plant and the pellet mill. Heat created as a byproduct from the gasifier plant could be used to dry the pellets.