Posts Tagged: biomass to electricity
Southern California Edison releases two new feasibility reports related to Shaver Lake forestry activities.
Southern California Edison has released two additional reports focusing on feedstock and capital costs for a 12 MW biomass power plant co-located with a small saw mill near Shaver Lake in the southern Sierra Nevada. These reports complement two reports produced by TSS Consultants released in 2012 covering fuel supply availability and environmental regulations. The reports are a part of the preliminary feasibility study for a wood based power plant, utilizing waste streams from forest management activities on the SCE's Shaver Forest and from other wood biomass sources in the region. Reports are available on the UCANR Woody Biomass Utilization website along with numerous other feasibility studies.
For more information about these reports contact:
Tedi Duree, Project Manager
Southern California Edison
Community-scale bioenergy conference addresses challenges and opportunities created by new legislation.
The Thirty-mile room at the Mclellan Wildfire Training Center in Sacramento filled to capacity on December 14th, 2012 for the Community-scale Bioenergy Conference presented by the Woody Biomass Utilization group of UCANR and the UC Berkeley Center for Forestry (jump to conference page). Attendees represented a broad range of stakeholders including community organizations, bioenergy startups, consultants, utility companies, and agency representatives. The conference focused on providing information about small scale production of electricity from woody biomass in the context of recent legislation. Senate Bill 1122, signed by Governor Brown in September 2012, was intended to increase the production of bio-electricity in the State from small scale producers (3MW or less) as a component of the States Renewables Portfolio Standard. Presentations can be viewed at http://ucanr.edu/community bioenergy
The day-long conference was kicked off by organizer and UC Berkeley biomass and forest products extension advisor John Shelly. California Energy Commission commissioner Carla Peterman gave a thoughtful keynote covering aspects of the States recently updated Bioenergy Action Plan related to small scale biomass-to-energy conversion.
The conference presentations covered the following topics:
- Impacts biomass utilization on forest health and fire risk.
- Public and private landowner perspectives on biomass utilization.
- The role of community organizations in developing small scale biomass-to-energy projects.
- Policy nexus for wood biomass project development (air quality, environmental review)
- Conversion technologies review
- Project development case studies
Several issues were identified as important in considering small scale bioenergy projects.
All speakers commented on the importance of finding uses for the woody biomass that is responsible for high wildfire hazards.
Technology to convert biomass to electricity exists but the economic viability remains a challenge.
Capturing the full value of the feedstock (heat, char, solid wood products) can make make an energy project much more attractive to investment.
While solar and other renewables have benefitted from streamlined permitting and reduced interconnection costs, interconnection costs for biomass is a major barrier to expansion.
Outreach and education early and often reduces social resistance, builds community, and can result in important strategic partnerships.
Ray Lucas at UCANR Communications Services did an excellent job creating webcasts of all presentations and speakers. Videos and presentation slides can be accessed via the UCANR Woody Biomass Utilization conference page./h3>/h3>/h3>/h3>/h3>/span>
The annual Forest Service Woody Biomass Utilization grant program has been creating some confusion for people. Grants.gov has had information online for the program since November 2011 even though it has not yet officially been announced on the Federal Register. According to the program manager at the Forest Products Laboratory (FPL) in Madison we can treat the information on grants.gov and on the FPL website as a pre-announcement of this years program. The Federal Register announcement will be very soon.
The advertised mailing deadline is March 1 2012 so if you are planning to submit it is important you start the process soon.
UC Berkeley and the Forest Service are holding 3 information sessions next week:
Monday (February 6) – Sonora, 3pm-5pm, Stanislaus National Forest, Register Here
Tuesday (February 7) – Nevada City, 1pm-3pm, Tahoe National Forest, Register Here
Thursday (February 9) – Redding, 1pm-3pm, Shasta-Trinity National Forest, Register Here
Information on the Grant Program
The program remains very similar to last year when it changed significantly compared to previous years. Main points include:
• The program is focused on biomass to energy projects
• Equipment is not eligible for funding
• Grants will fund advanced engineering studies or similar
• $250,000 maximum grant per project
• Single step application process (mailing date March 1 2012)
Full information and application materials are on the FPL website.
Who should attend?
The grant program is of most relevance to organizations that are developing biomass to energy projects. The following entities may be interested in this workshop: power plants, project developers, National Forest System staff, other Federal agencies, forest-based businesses, contractors, rural communities, landowners, tribal entities, conservation groups, rural and urban economic development councils.
• Application process
• Assistance available to help with applications
We will also include time to discuss other woody biomass utilization issues for those attendees that are interested.
There is no cost for this workshop but advance online registration is appreciated.
We are frequently asked if we have copies of previous woody biomass utilization feasibility studies available. As a result we have added a number of feasibility studies and other reports to the grants pages of the Woody Biomass Website. These were funded by the California Association of Resource Conservation & Development Councils (CARC&DC) between 2007 and 2010. Funding came from the Forest Service State & Private Forestry.
The 12 reports cover a range of topics and are a great resource for those who are interested in biomass utilization opportunities. The information can help you in the decision making process and also help in the design of requests for proposals (RFPs) for feasibility studies.
The documents include pre-feasibility and feasibility studies prepared by a number of companies and organizations including TSS Consultants, Carlson Small Power Consultants, BioEnergy Solutions and the Watershed Research & Training Center. There is an emphasis on biomass to energy particularly at smaller scale.
There are two reports on equipment installation at wood processing facilities funded by the project. We (UC) worked with the CARC&DC on a number of woody biomass utilization workshops across the state and this report is also included. Finally there is a report from the CARC&DC on their attempts to organize fast pyrolysis demonstrations in northern California.
We hope you find the reports useful.