California biomass facility hopes to receive $14.6m from US government
The site would be constructed on 17 acres near the Sierra Conservation Centre, off O'Byrnes Ferry Road.
Tuolumne Biomass LLC plans to lease the property from T-Five Ranches Inc, with county documents stating that an existing solar farm would remain operational.
The project applicants are seeking a Conditional Use Permit, Air Pollution Control Distric Permit, construction permit, grading and encroachment permits, changes in the Williamson Act contract and state water board permits.
The Tuolumne County Community Development Department are currently reviewing the project in a 30-day process.
With a total project cost of $14.6 million (€13.7m), with the majority coming from government grants and loans - including a $4.2m (€3.9m) grant from the HUD National Resilience Programme, a $3.5m (€3.2m) loan from the same programme, a $2m (€1.8m) HUD Residual Receipts Loan, a $2m CAL Fire Workforce Development Grant, an $800,000 (€753k) US Forest Service Community Wood Grant, a $60k (€565k),RCAC/EDA Revolving Small Business Loan and $1.5 million (€1.4m) in private equity funding.
The report submitted to the county, detailing proposed operations, states: “The facility would strive to operate as a waste-free facility. Any residuals produced at the facility that cannot be manufactured into a marketable product or used as fuel for the system would be sold as hog fuel to power a nearby wood-to-energy facility.
"Tuolumne Biomass LLC anticipates selling 2,000 tons per year of residuals (wood chips) to Pacific Ultrapower Chinese Station, a 25-gross-megawatt biomass plant in Jamestown.
"Poles manufactured at the site would be delivered to Riverbank for agricultural use. Wood products produced at the site are anticipated to be delivered to Modesto, Sacramento, and potentially the Los Angeles region.
"Bark would be sold to Sierra Pacific Industries in the region. The annual products sold by volume is anticipated to be 6,186 tons of firewood, 2,435 tons of poles, 2,435 tons of dowls, and 3,246 of clean residuals (including wood chips and bark) There is a possibility that in the future ash generated by the system could be provided to agricultural producers for use as a soil amendment.”