Merkley, Wyden Announce $11.85 Million for Oregon Biomass Projects

Washington D.C. – Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden
announced today that the Department of Agriculture has awarded $11.85 million
to five counties in Oregon to create clean energy jobs and reduce the risk of
wildfire in Oregon as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. 
The funding will go to projects in Douglas, Grant, Harney, Jefferson, and Linn

“During my recent trip through Southern Oregon I saw
firsthand how biomass projects are creating jobs in our forests,” Merkley
said.  “This funding from the Recovery Act will move us towards a clean
energy economy and help accomplish the important goal of reducing threats from

promotion of biomass is a key element in two issues vital to Oregonians – jobs
and forest health. That’s why I have been working to promote the use of the
biomass we have right in our backyard,” Wyden said. “This funding will help
breathe new life into our timber-dependent communities and put hardworking
Oregonians back to work thinning overstocked forests and pioneering a promising
energy source.”

Biomass projects receiving funding from the American
Recovery and Reinvestment Act were nominated by Forest Service regional offices
and selected nationally through a competitive basis on objective
criteria.  A listing of the projects that will receive funding can be
found below.

According a study from the Pew Charitable Trusts released
this week, clean-energy jobs in Oregon increased by 50.7 percent between 1998
and 2007.  The study also found that, across the country, clean energy
jobs are growing nearly 2.5 times as quickly as other jobs.

Information on other Forest Service ARRA projects and
related economic recovery can be found at:

Sustainable Forest
Bioenergy Production (FWE, HD)

Estimated Funding: $300,000
County: Douglas
project will evaluate the economic value of using portable pyrolysis units for
in-woods conversion of biomass into bio-oil and bio-char and test the impacts
of bio-char application on forest sites.

Warm Springs
Biomass LLC

Estimated Funding: $5,000,000
Small diameter
woody biomass will be used for a boiler at the Warm Spring Indian Tribe’s
existing sawmill. Steam from that boiler will be used to generate electricity.

Woody Biomass
Removal for Energy Production

Estimated Funding:

The projects funded collect and bundle woody biomass from private forest lands.
Biomass will be used at a local power plant to generate energy.

Pellet Plant in
Grant, Harney Counties

Estimated Funding: $5,000,000
Grant, Harney

will be used for the design and installation of a biomass pellet plant. This
facility would utilize biomass material from a 10-year stewardship fuels
reduction contract.

Douglas County
Small Woodlands Biomass

Estimated Funding: $500,000
This project was developed by the Oregon Department of Forestry to work with
small woodland owners to reduce hazardous fuels on their lands and pool this
available biomass for use in two co-generation facilities in Douglas
County.  The concept is to improve the economics of the work by increasing
the economy of scale across multiple small forest land owners.

T2, Inc.

Estimated Funding: $250,000
Funding will increase operating efficiency and year-round access for conducting
fuels treatments.