A Biomass Task Force has been looking into locating a facility in Nevada County and their Feasibility Assessment is now complete. Committee member Steve Eubanks says several sites were considered but one has risen to the top of the list.
Other potential sites are in Penn Valley at the junction with Rough and Ready Highway and a site on Hansen Brothers Property on La Barr Meadows Road.
The plant would operate by burning woody feedstock that is ample in Nevada County and convert that into electricity that would be sold to PG and E under recent legislation.
SB1122 would provide a subsidy for all renewable energy including Biomass Energy but Eubanks says it could be several years before the formula would reach a level to make the plant economically feasible.
The next step for the Biomass Task Force is to secure funding to keep the project moving forward.
Eubanks says the best case scenario would be 3 to 5 years before they had an operating plant, if everything goes well.
The biomass facility is also expected to create jobs.
At least two residents who live near the proposed site on LaBarr Meadows road spoke against the increased traffic the project would create. Also during public comment, Tahoe National Forest Supervisor Tom Quinn went on record as supporting the project and offering the Forest Service assistance with supplying fuels from the forest to run the plant.