Southern California Edison (SCE) is investigating the potential opportunity to site a biomass power generation facility on SCE property near Shaver Lake, California. Current forest conditions in the upland watersheds in the region are a major concern. Wildlife habitat, recreation opportunities, forest ecosystems, and hydropower assets are at significant risk to impacts of wildfire and continued drought. A biomass power plant near Shaver Lake would provide a local market for forest biomass produced as a byproduct of forest fuels reduction activities. Much of this forest biomass is currently being piled and burned.
TSS Consultants (TSS) has been retained by SCE to conduct a cost assessment for installation of a 12 megawatt biomass power plant primarily utilizing forest fuel. In addition, the assessment will address operation and maintenance costs (O&M) for this facility and fuel supply availability and cost. A small log processing facility is also considered, thereby leveraging the adjacent biomass power plant to expedite processing of posts and poles (and other products). Small trees harvested during forest thinning operations currently have very limited markets.