Sacramento, Calif., November 15, 2010 – Greenleaf Power, a newly formed owner/operator of biomass power plants, announces the purchase of a 28-MW biomass power plant located in Scotia, Calif. from Marathon Asset Management. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
In operation since 1988, the plant uses mill residuals and other available biomass to provide heat and power to the town of Scotia and the adjacent sawmill.
Located on the timber-rich northern coast of California, abundant fuel is available from a variety of sources including mill residual, forest thinning, logging slash, green-waste sites and landfill diversion. The facility sells its electricity under long-term contract to Pacific Gas & Electric.
Greenleaf Power is focused on growing through the acquisition and development of power plants fueled by residual biomass feedstock. Following acquisition, Greenleaf’s experienced team of clean energy professionals optimize efficiency and production of the plants by undertaking operational and capacity improvements, fuel procurement initiatives and revenue enhancements, among others.
The Scotia plant is the second biomass facility acquired by Greenleaf Power. Earlier this year, Greenleaf purchased the 30-MW Honey Lake biomass plant in Wendell, Calif.
Greenleaf Power is backed by Denham Capital Management, a leading global energy-focused private equity firm which has made several significant renewable energy investments including Gradient Resources, SunRay Renewables, BioTherm Energy, Big Island Carbon, VitAG and Plantation Energy.
According to the Energy Information Administration, 53 percent of all renewable energy consumed in the U.S. was biomass-based in 2007. Biomass is a renewable energy source made of organic material from plants and animals. Biomass power generation facilities harness the energy stored in such organic materials to produce clean, renewable power. When burned, the chemical energy in biomass is released as heat to power industries and homes.
The use of beneficial biomass resources such as forest residues, agricultural wastes, and urban wood waste diversion can reduce overall carbon emissions by displacing those from fossil fuels, such as coal, oil or natural gas.
Biomass power plants use this material for fuel, burning it under controlled, low-emission conditions to generate electricity. In addition, biomass facilities divert waste from landfills and displace the greenhouse gas emissions of the methane that would result from the decomposition and decaying of organic materials contained in landfill, forest accumulation or composting.
Emissions of methane create 20 times more greenhouse gas effect than the carbon dioxide produced during combustion. The process generally results in low to negative net carbon emissions; carbon released by burning biomass is more than offset by reduced use of fossil fuels, lower release of methane, and the increased growth rate of replacement biomass.