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Chicken Ranch Rancheria Joins Partnership To Build Bioenergy Facility

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Tuolumne County, CA — Calling it a “groundbreaking partnership,” Chicken Ranch Rancheria of Me-Wuk Indians is joining Yosemite Clean Energy in the effort to build a bioenergy facility in Chinese Camp near the existing Pacific Ultrapower site.

We reported earlier that the planned project will be spread across 45 acres. The 50-megawatt thermal watt facility will utilize 90,000 tons of wood waste per year and convert it into green (carbon negative) hydrogen.

Collectively, they will seek grant funding from the CAL Fire Climate Investment Fund, and other state and federal grant sources, to ensure the viability and success of the project.

The Tribe notes that it is dedicated to providing cultural, environmental, and economic development opportunities for its Tribal members, and envisions a sustainable forest enterprise within its traditional territory. They support the sustainable use of waste wood, which aligns with Yosemite Clean Energy’s goals of transforming forest and farm wood waste into renewable fuels.

Yosemite Clean Energy, based in Mariposa, hopes that the Tuolumne County project will serve as a model for similar type initiatives, worldwide. Specific financial terms of the partnership were not released.

The California Energy Commission awarded Yosemite Clean Energy $5 million this past July to construct its first facility, which will be located in Oroville and is scheduled to be completed in early 2026. The Tuolumne County project is planned to be built second.

Pictured are Chicken Ranch Rancheria Tribal Chairman Lloyd Mathiesen and Yosemite Clean Energy CEO Tom Hobby.