- by Dylan J. Darling, March 17, 2015, Bend Bulletin
A wood-burning power plant remains a possibility for La Pine, with the city now taking the lead on the project from Deschutes County and the company behind it waiting for a change in the energy market.
“It’s just been on hold due to market conditions,” said Rob Broberg, president of Biogreen Sustainable Energy Co., based in Vancouver, Washington. “And we plan on holding out until we are able to market and sell power.”
The company must find an energy buyer to make the planned plant economically viable, said Rick Allen, La Pine city manager.
“They need to find a power company that wants to buy their power,” he said. “…That’s really the issue.”
The $75 million, 25-megawatt biomass plant would produce enough electricity to power about 19,000 homes, Broberg said. The plant would burn wood — limbs and other scrap left over after logging, debris from thinning projects and urban waste — to heat water, create steam and turn a turbine. Interested power companies would likely be in California, where the state requires an increasing percentage of its power to come from “greener” sources such as biomass, wind and solar.