Humboldt Redwood Company, LLC (HRC) provides renewable power to the public utility grid and helps to maintain balanced voltages in southern Humboldt County. Biomass power, particularly combined heat and power (CHP) plants like the one in Scotia, is efficient, economical, and good for the environment. Efficiently using power generating steam to also manufacture lumber, economically using sawmill and forest residuals to power the CHP plant, and good for the environment by limiting the number of trucks on the road, capturing and removing emissions in a controlled system which is highly regulated. Additionally, the “byproducts” of CHP plants include other renewable products like soil amendments and pure carbon for filtration.
The “fuel” in a CHP plant is biomass which has been above ground in trees and woody debris. If left to decompose naturally, it emits methane. If left to burn in open piles, the full complement of emissions is released into the atmosphere. The controlled systems of CHP plants capture over 90% of emissions, as compared to decomposing or open burning and shown in this research by Placer County Air Quality Management District (Technical-Article-PDF).
It is important for business to work together with the community to support rural lifestyle. HRC is grateful for the employees, the customers, the regulators, the suppliers, and the contractors who help us in our pursuit to provide sustainable forest products and an economically viable business in rural communities. The North Coast Unified Air Quality Management District professionals have been instrumental in helping HRC meet the goals of regulations and being a good neighbor.
Millions of dollars flow into and stay in Humboldt County through HRC paying employees, suppliers, and contractors. Additionally, HRC is committed to investing money in our operations and the local community. Since acquiring the Scotia CHP plant in 2015*, HRC has invested over $10 million there specifically and will continue to invest in the CHP plant. The Scotia facility, in total, employs nearly 300 people in family wage jobs, with great benefits including health insurance and retirement. The starting wage is $23 per hour and many jobs at the Scotia facility pay over $30 per hour. The total benefits paid for employees by the company are worth another $12 per hour.
HRC has a long-standing position of taking people to see the property at the place of their choosing. This includes our manufacturing sites. If you are interested in learning more, please visit: https://www.hrcllc.com/contact and we will arrange a time to meet.
*HRC bought the Scotia sawmill and timberlands in 2008. The purchase, at that time, did NOT include the CHP plant. A series of previous owners failed to maintain the CHP plant in good working order. In 2015 HRC acquired the plant as a critical asset for electrical power and steam for our sawmill and for the voltage requirements of southern Humboldt County. HRC began immediately investing in the plant and updating all the permits and practices under the direction of the Air District. The District has been immensely helpful in guiding the work necessary to put the CHP Plant on the best foot possible. When the Redwood Coast Energy Authority (RCEA) was created it was a natural fit to move from selling power to PG&E to working with local utility to bolster the local grid. The Scotia CHP plant lynchpin for baseload, renewable power of Humboldt County and HRC is committed to the time, money, and effort needed to continue to improve.