North Fork Bioenergy Plant

North Fork Bioenergy Plant

North Fork Community Power, LLC

North Fork, CA
A pioneering project to reduce forest fire hazards while producing clean-renewable energy

North Fork is a small, rural community located in the foothills of the California Sierra Nevada mountain range. Unemployment in the town is over three times the national average. Much of this economic distress results from the economic dislocation caused by the closing of the local timber mill in 1994. However, the North Fork community, with the assistance of the local Forest Service District, has taken an active role in the redevelopment of the vacant Brownfield mill site.

In 2005, North Fork Community Power LLC, a partnership between San Francisco-based Phoenix Energy, LLC and the North Fork Community Development Council, won a $5M grant from the California Energy Commission to build and operate the nation’s first forestry-fueled biomass plant. The 1-MW plant will utilize forest biomass from fire threat reduction activities in the surrounding area to make electricity, heat, and biochar (a solid carbon byproduct used as a soil conditioner and filter media). Central Valley NMTC financing provided necessary funds for construction, equipment, and working capital.

See more news about this project:
North Fork Community Power Featured in Biomass Magazine [link to news story with this title]
Leaders in Community Development Awarded in New Orleans [link to news story with this title]

Community Impacts

  • Created 35 construction jobs and eight permanent jobs that pay a living wage plus benefits
  • Integral part of North Fork Community’s revitalization plans for forestry-based businesses
  • Clean-up and re-utilization of a former Brownfield site
  • Reduction of 1,300 tons of carbon dioxide annually

Project Participants

  • Central Valley NMTC Fund, LLC
  • North Fork Community Development Council
  • Phoenix Energy
  • JP Morgan Chase Community Development Banking
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