Portland, Orgeon, USA, 10 November 2010 -- (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Iberdrola Renewables today announced the start of construction at its 26.8 megawatt Lakeview biomass cogeneration plant in Lakeview, Oregon. The Lakeview project is expected to finish construction and begin producing enough power for 18,000 typical homes by the fall of 2012.
“We are delighted to begin building this long-awaited project,” said Ralph Currey, CEO of Iberdrola Renewables. “The Lakeview plant will provide base load renewable energy, jobs, and improve Oregon’s forest health while reducing wildfire danger.”
Located approximately 90 miles east of Iberdrola Renewables’ existing Klamath cogeneration plant, the Lakeview project will be a combined heat and power – or cogeneration – facility using latest-generation technology. Like Klamath, environmental effects will be minimized through innovative techniques. At Lakeview, the plant will be entirely air-cooled – reducing water use by more than 80% as compared to conventional water cooling.
Collins Pine Company will provide fuel from a combination of logging and sawmill residuals from its Fremont sawmill. Collins’ Lakeview forest operations – where much of the plant’s fuel will come from – have been independently certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) as consistent with their standards for forest management practices.
“The Lakeview cogeneration plant rounds out the tools to efficiently and effectively improve the forest health in our surrounding forests. It started with the challenges of forest restoration. Fire and disease have long inhibited the ability to sustain our forests. To economically take on the forest restoration, markets are critical for small logs and biomass. In 2007, Collins invested in a small log processing side to our existing mill, envisioning a cogeneration plant to holistically treat stands to improve forest health, increase growth on existing timber stocks, and reduce the chance of catastrophic fires,” said Eric Schooler, president and CEO, The Collins Companies. “The Forest Service helped deliver more certainty with 10-year Stewardship Contracts. Iberdrola Renewables completes the solution with today’s announcement. The community will add jobs, the forests will heal, and our sawmill employees have a future!”
Collins will also purchase the equivalent of two megawatts of steam from the project to run their lumber drying process more efficiently and with lower air emissions. The Fremont Sawmill is directly adjacent to the biomass plant’s 55-acre site.
A wide range of state and community leaders, local industry, U.S. Forest Service (USFS), Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and environmental groups have been involved during the project’s multi-year development.
“Today’s announcement that Iberdrola Renewables is starting construction on a new biomass energy plant in Lakeview is not only great news for Lake County, it is great news for the timber industry in Oregon,” said U.S. Senator Ron Wyden. “It demonstrates the potential for new opportunities in our forests, and a way to make the forest health projects we need to get done in the woods more economically viable. It also reflects the hard work that this community has done to create new jobs and get back on its feet.”
“The Lakeview biomass project is exactly the kind of collaborative and sustainable economic development that our rural communities need,” said Jane O’Keeffe, chairwoman of the board of directors, Sustainable Northwest. “The new plant will create long-term family-wage jobs for Lakeview, while generating renewable energy from unwanted wood residuals. Iberdrola Renewables’ Lakeview biomass plant is a great example of how we can simultaneously improve the health of both our forests and our local economies through smart resource management.”
“We are pleased to see construction start on this new facility which will help achieve needed restoration of our forests, reduce the threat of uncharacteristic wildfire, and also provide economic benefits to the Lakeview community,” said Russell Hoeflich, Oregon Director for The Nature Conservancy.
“Utilization of forest biomass isn't appropriate everywhere, but for the dry forests on the Lakeview Stewardship Unit, Iberdrola Renewables’ biomass plant will fill in the final piece of the puzzle to help restoration projects proceed in ways that are ecologically, economically and socially sound,” said Rick Brown, who recently retired after 10 years with Defenders of Wildlife as a senior resource specialist.
“Having a local outlet for logging slash and other small-diameter, low-value biomass will assist our managers in their efforts to plan and execute needed forest restoration projects. The resulting forests will be healthier and less prone to loss from fires or insect attack,” said Fred Way, Fremont-Winema National Forest, Forest Supervisor. “Iberdrola Renewables’ Lakeview Biomass will also provide forest land managers new options to reduce the amount of fuels that would traditionally be dealt with by prescribed burning, contributing to improved air quality.”
The Lakeview Plant is located 20 miles from California, close to major transmission facilities. Iberdrola Renewables’ expects strong interest from its public and private utility customers as they seek to diversify their renewable energy supplies. Previously, Iberdrola Renewables successfully managed the long-term sale of the output from a 55-MW biomass cogeneration plant in Tacoma, Washington, to the Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD).
Iberdrola Renewables is part of the world's leading provider of wind power with more than 12,000 MW of wind power installed globally, plus over 600 MW of clean gas-fired generation and more than 146 BCF of owned and contracted gas storage, making it one of the few companies capable of providing structured energy solutions and allowing large industrial and commercial customers to manage risks and uncertainty in the natural gas and power industries. www.iberdrolarenewables.us