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The Pacific West Biomass Conference & Trade Show -- the Golden Gate to Biomass


October 27, 2011 - SAN FRANCISCO, CA

With an abundance of biomass resources and renewable incentives, the Pacific West provides ample opportunities for developers. Attendees of the Pacific West Biomass Conference & Trade Show will have access to biomass industry stakeholders involved in every aspect of biomass-based power, thermal and biofuels.

BBI International's Pacific West Biomass Conference & Trade Show, produced jointly by "Biomass Power & Thermal and Biorefining Magazine," will be held Jan. 16-18 at the San Francisco Marriott Marquis in San Francisco.

The Pacific West event zeroes in on biomass utilization in California, Oregon, Washington, Idaho and Nevada. These states have a variety of incentives to boost biomass energy production and lower greenhouse gas emissions.

California mandates that load-serving power companies generate 33 percent of their power from renewable sources by 2020. The state is well on its way to meet that goal by having the most biomass power facilities in the U.S. It also leads the country in the number of wastewater treatment facilities that employ anaerobic digestion, with 50, according to the American Biogas Council.

That number is expected to increase in response to Senate Bill 489, which was recently signed by California Gov. Jerry Brown. The bill allows small-scale biomass and biogas projects (1 megawatt or less) to qualify for the state's Net Energy Metering program, which will help development of new biogas projects utilizing agricultural residue, municipal solid waste and wastewater.

Energy crops are also emerging in California. Two power plants are studying the feasibility of burning sorghum as an alternative fuel. If the testing is successful it will be the states' first production-scale effort to generate power from an energy crop, according to Chromatin Inc., the company supplying the feedstock to Constellation Energy, a power company headquartered in Maryland.

California isn't the only state in the Pacific West with renewable energy goals. Washington's Renewable Portfolio Standard calls for the state to produce 15 percent of its electricity with renewable sources by 2020 and Nevada has a 20 percent by 2015 goal. Oregon also aims to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions, and has directed utilities to meet 25 percent of their electricity production using renewable by 2025.

Oregon's ambitious RPS has prompted biomass power project developers to stake out sites in the state. One of those sites, Klamath Falls, Ore., could be home to two biomass power facilities. Klamath Falls Bioenergy recently completed an application for site certification with the Oregon Department of Energy for a 37-megawatt plant and Iberdrola Renewables is also in the early stages of developing a 35-megawatt biomass power facility.

Also in Oregon, HM3 Energy Inc. is building a demonstration facility in Troutdale, Ore., to torrefy wood biomass. The company plans to build a commercial plant in Prineville, Ore., which could be the first large-scale torrefaction facility in the U.S. Torrefied biomass is an ideal feedstock for coal-fired power plants looking to cofire with or convert to biomass.

Biofuels production also got a boost in the Pacific West in July when USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack announced Biomass Crop Assistance Program project areas in California, Montana, Washington and Montana. Landowners who opt to produce camelina for biofuel production in eligible areas could receive assistance through the BCAP.

These are just a few of the many biomass-related programs, projects and incentives in this region, to learn more, plan to attend the Pacific West Biomass Conference & Trade Show. Register today at www.biomassconference.com/pacificwest.

About BBI International:
Founded in 1995, BBI International produces globally recognized bioenergy events and trade magazines. In addition to the International Biomass Conference & Expo and its allied regional events, BBI owns and operates the largest, longest-running ethanol conference in the world -- the International Fuel Ethanol Workshop & Expo (FEW) -- and the International Biorefining Conference & Trade Show. The company publishes Biomass Power & Thermal, Ethanol Producer Magazine, Biorefining Magazine, and Biodiesel Magazine, as well as a number of ancillary products including maps, directories, e-newsletters and other web-based industry resources.

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John Nelson
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