Gov. John Kitzhaber today announced a new state grant program that puts at least $200,000 toward developing new biomass projects that would produce energy for forest product companies.
The Forest Products Energy Project invites existing local forest product companies in Oregon to compete for grant money to add woody biomass cogeneration capability to existing facilities.
“This project will promote efficient use of biomass while strengthening business, promoting forest health, and creating jobs,” Kitzhaber said in a news release today. “Our forest products industry is well positioned to support the increased use of biomass, creating additional renewable energy market opportunities.”
The project is a collaboration among Oregon Department of Energy, Business Oregon Oregon Department of Forestry and Energy Trust of Oregon. It aims to retain and create jobs and boost renewable energy production in Oregon.
It would provide funding for feasibility studies and development activities for biomass energy projects supporting sawmills, panel plants, engineered wood product plants and other large users of thermal energy. It excludes pulp and paper producers, consulting firms, biomass harvest operations, logging, transportation, equipment manufacturers, education and research groups and trade associations.
The grants will pick up 65 percent of the tab for feasibility studies, all of which must be finished by the end of October.
There are three funding sources for the grant projects so far:
- Community Renewable Energy Feasibility Fund (CREFF) grant of $150,000
- Business Retention Service Assessment Fund: $50,000
- Energy Trust of Oregon Biopower Assessments: Funding determined on a project-by-project basis