Indian Tribe Uses Woodwaste for Biopower

The Hoopa Valley Indian Tribe has commissioned a 15 kW biopower system that was transported 1,600 miles over two mountain ranges. Within hours of arrival, the power system was at full power, converting wood chips to grid-quality AC power.

HOOPA VALLEY, California, US, 2001-10-31 [] The biopower system, called the BioMax, was provided by the Community Power Corporation in Colorado. It uses local forest residues such as oak, alder and madrone, to generate both heat and power for the Hoopa tribe. These tree species are less desirable than other species managed by the tribe because they compete with the cash crop, Douglas Fir trees, and they also increase the potential for forest fires. Developed under a cost-shared contract with the California Energy Commission and the U.S. Department of Energy, the BioMax is designed to provide heat and power to a commercial greenhouse owned by the Hoopa tribe. The greenhouse is used to raise seedlings to replace Douglas Fir trees harvested from a 77,000 acre forest owned and operated by the tribe. The BioMax is demonstrating the displacement of both retail electricity and propane and will quantify the value of small modular biopower in distributed generation.


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