Forestry will continue biomass program |

Forestry will continue biomass program

Nevada Appeal Capitol Bureau

Even if the Department of Corrections shuts down its biomass power generator, the Nevada Division of Forestry plans to continue collecting the brush and wood from the Tahoe Basin this summer.

“NDF and the U.S. Forest Service are closely and aggressively working to identify new material end users throughout western Nevada and eastern California,” said Forester Pete Anderson.

The woody waste is being collected to reduce the potential for catastrophic fires in the Tahoe Basin and eastern Sierra. Anderson said a significant number of removal projects are planned this summer, which will generate tons of woody biomass.

“Therefore, transportation of that material for utilization by end users is critical to the overall success of these fuel reduction projects,” Anderson said.

Prison officials say because of design problems and the types of chipped fuels they are receiving, the biomass electric generating station at Northern Nevada Correctional Center will never generate the profits it was intended to. Prisons director Howard Skolnik said because of that, they intend to shut it down this fall unless they can find a buyer or another operator.

The plant uses wood chips collected from fire hazard reduction programs to generate power in a high-tech boiler system.

One potential alternative user is a similar plant being constructed at North Lake Tahoe.