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$14-million Jamestown Biomass Project Going Through Review Process

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Jamestown, CA — A biomass facility is proposed to be built on 17 acres near the Sierra Conservation Center off O’Byrnes Ferry Road outside of Jamestown.

The group Tuolumne Biomass LLC is planning to lease the property from T-Five Ranches, Inc. An existing solar farm on the same parcel would remain in use, according to county documents. The project applicants are hoping to receive a Conditional Use Permit, Air Pollution Control District Permit, construction permit, grading and encroachment permits, changes in the Williamson Act contract, and state water board permits.

The project is currently going through a 30-day review process via the Tuolumne County Community Development Department, continuing through January 19.

The site was previously used as a gravel pit.

The total cost of the project is $14.6 million, and a majority of the money would come from government grants and loans. It includes a $4.2 million grant from the Hud National Resilience Program, a $3.5-million loan from the same HUD program, a $2-million HUD Residual Receipts Loan, a $2-million CAL Fire Workforce Development Grant, an $800,000 US Forest Service Community Wood Grant, a $600,000 RCAC/EDA Revolving Small Business Loan, and $1.5-million in private equity funding.

The report submitted to the county, detailing proposed operations, states, “The facility would strive to operate as a waste-free facility. Any residuals produced at the facility that cannot be manufactured into a marketable product or used as fuel for the system would be sold as hog fuel to power a nearby wood-to-energy facility. Tuolumne Biomass LLC anticipates selling 2,000 tons per year of residuals (wood chips) to Pacific Ultrapower Chinese Station, a 25-gross-megawatt biomass plant in Jamestown. Poles manufactured at the site would be delivered to Riverbank for agricultural use. Wood products produced at the site are anticipated to be delivered to Modesto, Sacramento, and potentially the Los Angeles region. Bark would be sold to Sierra Pacific Industries in the region. The annual products sold by volume is anticipated to be 6,186 tons of firewood, 2,435 tons of poles, 2,435 tons of dowls, and 3,246 of clean residuals (including wood chips and bark) There is a possibility that in the future ash generated by the system could be provided to agricultural producers for use as a soil amendment.”

More details on the project, and the public comment period, can be found here.