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Rendering of proposed 2.4-MW biomass plant to be built in Mariposa by Sweden's Cortus-Energy. Photo courtesy Mariposa Biomass Project.

Mariposa Biomass Project Awarded $5 Million CEC Grant

MARIPOSA – The Mariposa Biomass Project (MBP) is substantially closer to achieving its goal of building a 2.4 Megawatt biomass facility in the town of Mariposa.

The California Energy Commission announced Friday that the Mariposa Biomass Project, with the Mariposa County Resource Conservation District (MCRCD) as project administrator, won a $5 million Electric Program Investment Charge (EPIC) grant to construct a demonstration biomass facility in Mariposa County at the Industrial Park.

On June 27, 2016, the California Energy Commission (Energy Commission) released a two-phase competitive solicitation to fund applied research and development (AR&D) activities and technology demonstration and deployment (TD&D) activities to advance biomass-to-electricity generation. The grant proposal was developed in response to Governor Jerry Brown’s 2015 Proclamation of a State of Emergency to protect communities against unprecedented tree die-off due to drought and bark beetle infestation.

Nineteen projects seeking funding in the TD&D category applied for Phase 1 of the EPIC Grant, and last November, nine of those projects, including MBP, were invited to compete for Phase 2. MBP’s winning application was submitted on Dec. 21, 2016, through the combined efforts of the MCRCD, the MBP, Cortus Energy and Gladstein, Neandross and Associates staff, hired by Cortus Energy to help prepare the application.

The MBP grant application was one of two awards and received the top score in its category. MBP is pleased to receive this award, but recognizes that there were other high-scoring projects that did not receive funding and hopes that additional funding can be found to support those projects.

Last year, the MBP and the MCRCD received a $244,080 Wood Innovations grant from the U.S. Forest Service in a national competition, and is currently using those funds to obtain the necessary permits and studies associated with this project.

The woody biomass-to-electricity facility developed with funding from this grant will help reduce the fire threat caused by tree mortality in Mariposa County by turning excess and dead vegetation into clean, renewable energy. It will also support local job growth. Cortus Energy has established a California-based corporation to build, own and operate the facility using its WoodRoll technology.

For more information, visit the MBP website at www.mariposabiomassproject.org.

The mission of the Mariposa County Resource Conservation District is to encourage and facilitate cooperative solutions to local resources conservation issues and problems. We provide technical, financial and educational resources, whatever their source, to meet the needs of the local land-users.

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