West Biofuels awarded $1.5 million grant from USDA

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West Biofuels has received $1.5 million (€1.3m) in grant funding from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to increase the sustainable use of forest products while promoting innovation and bolstering local economies.
The Woodland, California-based company engineers, procures, and constructs (EPC) and operates and maintains biomass facilities.
Approximately $1.2m (€1m) in funding from the Community Wood Energy Grant Program was awarded to its latest project, the Hat Creek Bioenergy Facility, which is expected to be operational in the spring of 2024.
The federal programme funds the installation of thermally-led community wood energy systems or the building of innovative wood product manufacturing facilities.
The funding also included $300,000 (€273,600) from the Wood Innovation Grant Program for a planned bioenergy facility in Mariposa, California.
The federal programme expands wood energy markets and traditional wood utilisation projects and promotes utilising wood as a construction material in commercial, institutional and multifamily buildings.
The bioenergy facilities in Burney and Mariposa are each expected to produce three megawatts of clean power per year by converting forest organic byproducts – once considered waste – into renewable electricity, heat and biochar.
Specifically, the Hat Creek Bioenergy Facility is estimated to source approximately 30,000 bone-dry tonnes of forest waste per year, which would fill approximately 171 Olympic-sized swimming pools.
“We appreciate the federal government's recognition and investment,” said Kristen Decker, chief financial officer of West Biofuels.
“With their support, West Biofuels can transform California's forest waste into clean, renewable energy that powers communities and reduces wildfire risk. Our innovative bioenergy facilities also help stimulate rural economic growth and advance California’s ambitious climate goals, so we’re proud to help solve some of our state’s most pressing challenges.”

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