Mt. Bachelor Aims To Build Biomass Facility Fueled By Material Burned In Wildfire Mitigation

Mt. Bachelor Aims To Build Biomass Facility Fueled By Material Burned In Wildfire Mitigation

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Mt. Bachelor Aims To Build Biomass Facility Fueled By Material Burned In Wildfire Mitigation

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“The facility would provide a method for the disposal of wood waste (slash) from forest management actions while also providing a renewable fuel source for electricity and heat for ski area operations.” –Bend-Fort Rock District Ranger Michelle King

Mt. Bachelor plans to take steps toward green energy by partnering with Wisewood Energy to create a biomass facility north of the West Village Lodge. KTVZ reports the fuel will come from biomass material burned from wildfire mitigation treatments in the nearby forest.

“The short story is that the existence of that material leads to higher-severity wildfire. Because of this build-up of small-diameter material, the fires that do occur end up hotter and bigger, and we have a lot of communities that live in that environment, so it affects a lot more people.” –Wisewood Energy Director of Business Development, Meagan Hartman 

The biomass technology originated in the European Alps.

“Mostly all the ski resorts in the Alps have a system like this. Our company has built over 20 projects in the region, two in Oregon, and one in California with very much the same exact technology that’s going to go into Mt. Bachelor.” –Wisewood Energy founder Andrew Haden

Mt. Bachelor currently uses over 150,000 gallons of propane per year for space heating at several buildings at the base of the mountain:

“We would replace their propane boilers that they’ve got in different buildings. We’d replace it with a new central facility that has one biomass boiler, so it would still be generating heat through a hydronic system.” –Andrew Haden

The operating cost of the biomass system is estimated at two-thirds less than the cost of propane. The amount of wood required to keep the biomass system operating equates to about 50 semi-trucks full of wood a year. Mt. Bachelor is working to raise $5.5 million to build the biomass facility.

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