Oregon governor announces biomass grant program

By Anna Austin | February 14, 2011

Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber has unveiled the Oregon Forest Products Energy Project, a program that will help fund biomass cogeneration projects at existing forest product companies within the state.

Part of a combined effort by the Oregon Department of Energy and Department of Forestry, Business Oregon and Energy Trust of Oregon, the first phase of the program will pay 65 percent of the cost of in-depth feasibility and engineering studies for six to 12 projects, all which must be completed by the end of October. Applications will be accepted from forest products firms such as sawmills, panel plants, engineered wood projects plants and other large users of thermal energy, but not pulp and paper producers, consulting firms, biomass harvest operations, logging, transportation, equipment manufacturers, education and research organizations and institutions, or industry and trade associations.

Projects that are determined feasible will move on to the next phase of the program, which will provide technical and financial support during the project development phase including detailed design and engineering, permitting, business plan development, interconnection, and other pre-construction activities. The final phase will consist of project and long-term financing.

An overlying goal of the program is to produce a project development guide that includes lessons learned and a set of policy recommendations to further the development of woody biomass energy projects.

To download a request for grant application, go to http://orpin.oregon.gov/open.dll/welcome.