Merkley, Wyden Announce $11.85 Million for Oregon Biomass Projects

Merkley, Wyden Announce $11.85 Million for Oregon Biomass Projects

Recovery Act Funding to Create Clean Energy Jobs in Douglas, Grant, Harney, Jefferson, and Linn Counties

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 Counties.

“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 wildfires.”

“The 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: http://fs.usda.gov.

Sustainable Forest Bioenergy Production (FWE, HD)

Estimated Funding:
$300,000
County: Douglas
This 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
County:
Jefferson
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:
$800,000
County:
Douglas
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
County:
Grant, Harney

Funds 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
County:
Douglas
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
County: 
Linn
Funding will increase operating efficiency and year-round access for conducting fuels treatments.