The opening of the new biomass project has been a long time coming, but it is finally here. On Friday, April 6, the Sierra Institute will introduce the working biomass system at the county’s Health and Humans Services Center through a ribbon cutting ceremony.
After three years of hard work by the county, and the Sierra Institute, the state of the art facility will offer heating for the large building.
The Sierra Institute works to promote healthy forests alongside rural communities and has been working with the county on establishing an affordable and effective heating system to replace the geothermal heating system at the county annex building.
The geothermal system proved to be inadequate to effectively heat the building.
The biomass system will run through the geothermal system and heat the building. It also will be fueled by forest clean-up projects and wood chips. The wood chips will be provided by timber companies throughout the county who work to clean up their own lands. The wood chips offer a market for small or unhealthy trees, and an incentive to keep forests clean.
The building is made of cross laminated timber, which is made of wood that is weakened by bark beetle, but when compressed together, makes a substance stronger than steel.
“The heating system and the CLT building together are a demonstration of how rural communities can increase utilization of low-value wood,” the Sierra Institute representative said in a statement.
The opening ceremony begins at 10:30 a.m. at the biomass facility in Quincy. Representatives from the Sierra Institute will speak and District 4 Supervisor Lori Simpson will also talk on the benefits of introducing a biomass system to Plumas County.
Industry leaders in forest conservation and clean energy, as well as representatives from the state are expected to attend. Members of the public are also invited to attend.