California’s Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE) has awarded $4 million in grants to support the development of two clean energy projects by West Biofuels LLC.
The Hat Creek Bioenergy Facility in Burney, California, will receive $2 million, while the Mariposa Bioenergy Facility in Mariposa, California, will also receive $2 million. Both facilities are being developed by West Biofuels and are expected to produce a combined total of six megawatts of clean power by converting forest organic byproducts into renewable electricity, heat, and biochar.
The funding will be used to transport woody biomass from forest restoration operations, complete site grading and preparation of a feedstock area, install a fire prevention system, and fabricate bioenergy equipment. The projects are expected to generate new renewable energy sources for California communities, support rural economic growth, increase forest sustainability, and advance California’s climate goals.
According to Kristen Decker, Chief Financial Officer of West Biofuels, “Our innovative Hat Creek and Mariposa projects demonstrate bioenergy’s pivotal role in supporting rural economic growth, increasing forest sustainability, and advancing California’s climate goals. By converting forest waste into clean power, we’re not just generating renewable energy – we’re transforming a once-discarded resource into a hopeful future for families, businesses, and the environment.”
The Hat Creek Bioenergy Facility is estimated to source approximately 30,000 bone dry tons of forest waste per year, which would fill approximately 171 Olympic-sized swimming pools. Both facilities are expected to be operational by the summer of 2024.