Bioenergy frequently asked questions
What is biomass ?
Biomass is the only renewable energy source that can be used to make liquid transportation fuels—such as gasoline, jet, and diesel fuel—in the near term. It can also be used to produce valuable chemicals for manufacturing, as well as power to supply the grid. This project would focus on harvesting woody biomass- dead, downed and diseased debris, in addition to forest product residuals- such as tree tops, limbs, small trees and brush. Biomass will be chipped and later combusted to be used for electricity.
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Why would WE want to use biomass for fuel and products?
Making biofuels and bioproducts from domestic, non-food and waste sources provides strategic benefits to the nation, including economic growth, energy security, environmental quality, and technology leadership. Biofuels are part of a multifaceted national strategy to improve quality of life and build a diverse and secure domestic U.S. energy supply. Domestic biofuels help to reduce U.S. reliance on imports, improve our trade balance, stabilize fuel prices, revitalize rural communities, create jobs, maintain our lead in science and innovation, strengthen our energy security, and reduce harmful emissions. Specifically, in the Intermountain area, the use of biofuels will lead to better fuels and forest management, reduce the risk of catastrophic wildfire and promote positive environmental and economic factors.
How Does using biomass help the environment?
Energy from woody biomass can be very positive for the climate and environmental health, particularly when applying sustainable forest management practices. Harvesting dead, downed, and diseased material improves forest and watershed health and aids in fuel management, mitigating potential catastrophic wildfire.
Where Will BIomass be gathered?
Biomass will be harvested in a 50 mile radius of the project locations. This includes both public and private land,
collecting from surrounding
Lassen, Shasta, Trinity, Modoc, and Siskiyou National Forests.
Can green waste be used for biomass?
Ideally surrounding communities will be able to contribute green waste from their personal property, either by drop-off or pickup. The logistics of this specific item have yet to be determined.
How will the bioenergy cluster project affect the local economy?
Full time and ancillary positions will be needed to collect and process biomass and maintain operations at the project sites. In addition to employment, our local energy economy will become more independent and self-sustainable.
How will the project affect the cost of energy?
Though this information has yet to be determined, the cost of energy will ideally decrease as the Intermountain area moves toward energy independence.
how will air quality and Climate be affected?
When biomass is efficiently combusted it is considered carbon neutral. West Biofuels premier gasification system effectively captures harmful emissions and greenhouse gases. Air quality could improve over time due to improved fuel management, avoiding catastrophic wildfire and harmful black carbon smoke.
This project has already begun! The first project site, Hat Creek Construction is working closely with West Biofuels to install and test the gasification system. Other preliminary certifications and agreements have already been completed or are underway. Nearby Tubit Enterprise is in the initial stages of setting up a project location. In the future, a third site, McArthur Bioenergy is also being planned. We can expect to see Hat Creek Construction beginning to harvest biofuels and begin producing energy in 2-3 years.
where Else is Bioenergy being used?
This will be the first project of this kind and scale in California. Check out the map below to see what other bioenergy projects are planned for California and the United States.