The wood waste fueled power plant in Scotia will soon be operating again, now that it has been purchased by Humboldt Redwood Company (HRC). HRC announced that on Oct. 30, the company “completed the asset purchased related to the Steam and Power Plant located in Scotia, California.” “The purchase will allow our Scotia facility to generate steam and electricity to be used in our sawmill operations,” Chief Executive Bob Mertz said in a news release. “Excess electricity will be sold,” he added. The news release said the use of biomass to make steam and electricity furthers HRC’s commitment to operate an environmentally sustainable and economically successful business. Sawdust and bark, as well as what the news release calls “forest residuals” will be used as fuel for the power plant. “There are many challenges with the operation of a biomass and steam power plant,” Mertz notes in the news release. “Fortunately, we have been able to hire nearly 20 skilled and capable employees to be successful. It is always good news to share we are growing our business and providing opportunities for our colleagues.” The news release also claims the network of “biomass” steam and power plants in California is under pressure, and that there are a number of factors preventing the successful future of these facilities. Primarily “biomass” has yet to be afforded equal standing in the “renewable” energy rate setting mechanism of the state, the news release states. These complicated regulatory burdens are having a detrimental impact on the state’s ability to address the need for a “base-load” renewable energy source and outlets for the byproducts of forest projects designed to enhance fire safety, according to the release. The 28 megawatt cogeneration plant in Scotia was built in 1989 by the Pacific Lumber Company. The plant was purchased by Sacramento-based Green leaf Power in 2010, was closed in 2012, reopened in 2013 and then was closed again. No specific date for the power plant re-starting has been announced.
November 4th 2015