Washington correctional facility receives biomass conversion funding

Washington State Department of Corrections has received $388,000 (€319,000) to convert its old oil and propane furnaces and boilers to run on biomass.

The funding was allocated by the Washington State Department of Commerce through the Wood Energy for Public Facilities programme, part of the state’s Clean Energy Fund (CEF).

It is the first CEF project aimed at converting a state facility to renewable wood biomass fuel. Funding will be used to install a modern, efficient wood energy system at the Larch Corrections Centre near Yacolt in eastern Clark County to offset the use of fuel oil for area heating and hot water.

Forest harvest waste from nearby federal, state, and private timberlands will fuel the boiler, creating value for low-grade forest biomass produced through forest management activities. The project will also increase energy resilience for the facility and act as a model for future projects in the region by demonstrating the social, environmental, and economic benefits of bioenergy.

“This project is the first of its kind among state facilities in Washington,” said Commerce Director Lisa Brown. “Supporting the use of renewable wood biomass sources reduces greenhouse gas emissions while supporting jobs that strengthen rural timber communities.”

Corrections Secretary Cheryl Strange added: “We are very grateful to Lisa Brown and the Department of Commerce for these funds. This project brings us closer to a Washington that works on clean energy and a future free from products that harm our environment.”

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