US government awards West Biofuels $30m for biomass projects

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West Biofuels has been selected for up to $30 million (€27.7 million) in award negotiations from the US government to provide low-carbon, stable energy for the rural communities in Burney, Mariposa, and Mammoth Lakes, California.
The investment is being made by the US Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Clean Energy Demonstrations (OCED).
By developing a cluster of rural projects in the Sierra Nevada-Cascade, West Biofuels’ professional staff can cost-effectively support each project's ongoing operations and maintenance to ensure long-term sustainability and success, according to the organisation.
It added that the funds will help each rural community convert forest biomass into renewable energy to provide low-carbon, reliable energy for three remote communities that also face the risk of wildfires.
They will also reduce carbon emissions using produced biochar that can also be sold in regional agricultural markets.
Furthermore, they will provide an end-use and local market for biomass from forest thinning campaigns that are key to help prevent forest fires in the region.
Each project will offset up to 53,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent annually from fossil energy displacement, fire mitigation, and biochar sequestration, said the company.
“We thank the Office of Clean Energy Demonstrations for their support and investment,” said Kristen Decker, chief financial officer of West Biofuels.
“Our project addresses multiple commercialized end uses by deploying three community-scale bioenergy systems, converting biomass into 100% renewable electricity and biochar soil amendments.”

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