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42 MegaWatt Forest Incinerator Proposed for Klamath Falls

To view a national Google map of existing and proposed incinerators of all sorts (biomass, trash, tire, landfill, manure, as well as coal, nuclear, etc) go to the Energy Justice web site.
June 13, 2013.
One 42 MegaWatt incinerator has been defeated.
One more is proposed for Klamath Falls with another proposed for Lakeview, Oregon.
Northwest Energy Systems Co. LLC out of Bellingham, WA has proposed to build a 42 megawatt forest biomass incinerator for electricity on 130 acres of farmland just 2.5 miles south of Klamath Falls. The site is river frontage property along the Klamath River. Just across the river from the proposed site is Miller Island, a 2000 plus acre State Game Refuge.
The Klamath Bioenergy Facility will need 50-85 diesel truckloads per day of forest chips to run at capacity.
This is not a co-generation (CHP) facility therefore half of the woody biomass incinerated will be wasted because much of the thermal energy will be exhausted and unused. At best the efficiency for such an electricity only facility is around 40 percent.
Most if not all the electricity generated from the facility will be sold to California utilities because there is no demand for additional generating capacity for Klamath Falls or the surrounding area.
The Klamath Falls Herald reported Jeld Wen Timber Resources (JWTR) has publicly agreed to supply all of the woody fuel to the incinerator over the next 20 years. In 2007 JWTR bought 440,000 acres. Added to JWTR existing land holdings this would allegedly total 660,000 acres available to fuel the forest incinerator. However, there is no assurance that a sufficIent quantity of forest biomass is actually available from those 660,000 acres of Jeld Wen lands to keep the incinerator running at capacity for the next 20-30 years of operation.  Even if there was enough woody biomass available on those 660 K acres the extraction of all that nutrient rich biomass over decades would likely destroy the overall health of the forest ecosystems trying to survive on that 660,000 acres.

Update: Wednesday, February 6, 2013, 2:57pm PST

Poor air quality prompts request for biomass moratorium in two Oregon counties

By Christina Williams

Sustainable Business Oregon editor

One of Iberdrola Renewables biomass facilities would be built adjacent to its natural gas plant in Klamath Falls. 

A spate of air pollution bad enough to be in violation of the Clean Air Act and comparable to the well-known pollution in Beijing has prompted an activist group to request an emergency moratorium on biomass plant development in southeastern Oregon's Lake and Klamath counties.

Save Our Rural Oregon announced Wednesday that the group had sent letters to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Gov. John Kitzhaber requesting that biomass and biofuels projects in Klamath Falls and Lakeview be put on hold and no new or modified air quality discharge permits related to the projects be issues.

The group singles out three such projects in the works. Klamath Bio Energy is working on approval for a plant in Klamath Falls. Iberdrola Renewables has two in the works, one in Lakeview and another in Klamath Falls.

Iberdrola announced last October that the proposed Lakeview plantwhich halted construction in 2011 — would emit twice the originally proposed amount of emissions.

"If they were already built, biomass projects proposed for both Klamath Falls and Lakeview would not only have made the air quality situation much worse but under anticipated sanctions placed upon us by EPA and DEQ starting in 2014, the biomass facilities would be exempt from shutting down and allowed to continue to burn while we citizens would be fined for heating our own homes,” says Paul Fouch, executive director of Save Our Rural Oregon, in a press release.

Save Our Rural Oregon reports that the region has the worst concentration of pollution-causing fine particulate matter in the country. In January Lakeview residents experienced particulate matter levels five times the national standard.

Copyright Portland Business Journal


To Contact Save Our Rural Oregon:

A local Klamath County group called Save Our Rural Oregon (SORA) is opposing the proposed facilities. Please contact Paul Fouch president of SORO mvbiomass(at)gmail.com to offer assistance or to find out click here.
To view Oregon Department of Environmental Quality response to comments given at December 16th 2010 public hearing and subsequent public written comments go here.
Another biomass incinerator has been proposed less than 1 mile from the current proposed incinerator.
Excerpt below is from RISI Inc.

June 15, 2011

Iberdrola Renewables to build wood energy plant in Klamath Falls, OR

LOST RIVER, WV, June 15, 2011 (RISI) - Iberdrola Renewables is in the preliminary stages of developing a 38 MW stand-alone wood energy facility adjacent to its two natural gas-fired power plants in Klamath Falls, OR. The scheme replaces a plan to build a third gas power plant.

Time frame for development at Klamath Falls is currently undetermined, as Iberdrola is beginning work on permitting. The facility would consume about 400,000 green tons/year of softwood slash grindings and sawmill residuals.

An Iberdrola representative told RISI's Wood Biomass Market Report that customer need for baseload renewable power caused the change in plans. The new plant, he said, could sell into markets in Washington, Oregon or California -- all of which have aggressive renewable portfolio standards.

Copyright RISI

See Guest Opinion by Paul Fouch on the second incinerator proposed for Klamath Falls and 71 comments to it.

We will post additional information on the proposed incinerator as it becomes available.

40 Megawatt Forest Incinerator Proposed for Madras

Yet another huge electric only Forest incinerator proposed while Oregon's environmental groups seem to be asleep at the wheel.
Stay Tuned.