West Biofuels Receives $4 Million in CalFire Grants for Bioenergy Production

The California Department of Forests and Fire Protection (CalFire) has awarded $4 million to West Biofuels for projects to convert forest waste to energy, while reduce wildfire risks, creating jobs, and increasing energy reliability. The first award is for $2 million for West Biofuels’ Hat Creek Bioenergy Facility (Burney, Calif.), which is expected to be operational in the spring of 2024. The funds will help transport woody biomass from forest restoration operations and demonstrate how subsidies can support restoration efforts and incentivize the creation of new bioenergy facilities in areas where feedstock supply exceeds demand.

The second $2 million grant is for a planned bioenergy facility in Mariposa, Calif. The grant funding will help complete site grading, preparation of a feedstock area, installation of a fire prevention system, and the fabrication of bioenergy equipment. The project will kickstart local and regional forest management practices and jobs markets, and help the region develop a thriving and sustainable forest management industry that minimizes future catastrophic wildfire hazards, provides local jobs, and benefits underserved communities.

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 tons of forest waste per year, which would fill approximately 171 Olympic-sized swimming pools.  

For more information about these projects and West Biofuels, click here.