Kitzhaber announces biomass grant program
By Christina Williams
Editor, Sustainable Business Oregon
Gov. John Kitzhaber on Monday unveiled a biomass grant program that will allow forest product companies in Oregon to compete for grants to fund feasibility studies for biomass generation plants.
The Forest Products Energy Project will pay for between six and 12 detailed feasibility and engineering studies on developing biomass co-generation plants at existing forest products businesses. The studies must be completed by Oct. 31.
Kitzhaber talked frequently about biomass as an important renewable energy opportunity for Oregon and its struggling forest products sector. The economic teams he named following his election in November included one devoted to biomass. The team is led by John Shelk, managing director of Ochoco Lumber Co. and includes Matt Donegan, co-president of Forest Capital Partners, and Russ Hoeflich, vice president of The Nature Conservancy.
"This project will promote efficient use of biomass while strengthening business, promoting forest health, and creating jobs," said Kitzhaber in a statement released Monday. "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 of the Oregon Department of Energy, Oregon Business Development Department, Oregon Department of Forestry and the Energy Trust of Oregon.
In January, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency delayed a ruling on emissions that could have hamstrung the biomass industry.
christinawilliams@sustainablebusiness | 503.219.3438 | @SustainableBzOR
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