West Biofuels Selected for up to $30 Million to Convert Forest Biomass into Renewable Energy for Burney, Mariposa, and Mammoth Lakes, California

Woodland-based bioenergy company selected for award negotiations from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Clean Energy Demonstrations

WOODLAND, CA / Feb 29, 2024 / Today, West Biofuels, LLC (“West Biofuels”) announced they were selected for up to $30 million in award negotiations from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Clean Energy Demonstrations (OCED) to provide low-carbon, stable energy for the rural communities in Burney, Mariposa, and Mammoth Lakes, California. By developing a cluster of rural projects in the Sierra Nevada-Cascade, West Biofuels’ professional staff can cost-effectively support each project's ongoing operations and maintenance to ensure long-term sustainability and success.

The funds will help each rural community convert forest biomass into renewable energy to

- Provide low-carbon, reliable energy for three remote communities that also face the risk of wildfires
- Reduce carbon emissions using produced biochar that can also be sold in regional agricultural markets
- Provide an end-use and local market for biomass from forest thinning campaigns that are key to help prevent forest fires in the region

“We thank the Office of Clean Energy Demonstrations for their support and investment,” said Kristen Decker, Chief Financial Officer of West Biofuels. “Our project addresses multiple commercialized end uses by deploying three community-scale bioenergy systems, converting biomass into 100% renewable electricity and biochar soil amendments.”

Burney, Mariposa, and Mammoth Lakes are small, remote, and mountainous communities often threatened by wildfires and faced with frequent power outages due to extreme weather. Each facility is targeted to generate three megawatts of reliable, clean electricity production by utilizing 28,000-35,000 dry tons per year of forest residuals.
Each project will offset up to 53,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent annually from fossil energy displacement, fire mitigation, and biochar sequestration. Each site plans to create 15 permanent and good-paying jobs to support the local community.

“This project represents a win-win for the community with both good jobs and providing sustainable renewable energy,” said Decker. “I want to thank our partners, including Fall River Resource District, Mariposa Biomass Project, Mariposa County Resource Conservation District, Whitebark Institute, and Momentum, as well as U.S. Forest Service, California Energy Commission, and California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection as they’ve helped our projects align local interests and standards for their respective communities."

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West Biofuels, LLC, engineers, procures, and constructs (EPC), as well as operates and maintains biomass facilities that create renewable energy, support rural economic growth, reduce the risk of wildfires, and advance California’s climate goals. Since 2007, they have been pioneers in the bioenergy industry with cutting-edge research and development. In 2017, they expanded operations to transform organic byproducts into valuable renewable energy that powers California communities. Their Woodland Research and Development Center is a top-tier biomass technology facility in North America that partners with global experts to further research and develop high-value fuels and chemicals. Discover more at WestBiofuels.com and connect on LinkedIn.

The U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Clean Energy Demonstrations (OCED) was established to accelerate clean energy technologies and fill a critical innovation gap on the path to achieving our nation’s climate goals of net zero emissions by 2050. OCED’s mission is to deliver clean energy demonstration projects at scale in partnership with the private sector to accelerate deployment, market adoption, and the equitable transition to a decarbonized energy system. Visit energy.gov/oced to learn more.

Contact Information
Laura Braden
Public Relations & Strategic Communications