Sheldon touts new biomass energy plans for local utilities

Sen. Tim Sheldon, D-Potlatch, praised the recent announcement of an agreement between Energy Northwest, a consortium of public utilities in Washington, and ADAGE, a joint venture between AREVA and Duke Energy, to develop new biomass power plants in Washington.

“Together, these entities will be using resources from the forest products industry – wood debris, and slash that might otherwise be left on the forest floor – and turn them into renewable bio-energy,” said Sheldon, who has served on the 11-member Executive Board of Energy Northwest since 2003.

AREVA has built more than 100 similar wood burning plants in Europe, all meeting environmental standards. The proposed plants would also help meet the renewable energy portfolio standards that were passed by voters in 2006 as a part of Initiative 937.

“This is an excellent job opportunity for our citizens across the state. These power plants will use new technologies and create green jobs,” said Sheldon. “It will put people back to work as well as provide clean, renewable energy for the northwest.”

The plants are slated to be built in rural, forested areas, most likely including a facility in Sheldon’s 35th Legislative District that encompasses Mason County and portions of Kitsap, Grays Harbor and Thurston counties.