BC biomass plant would use trees killed by pine beetles

A proposed biomass power plant near Hanceville, British Columbia, will run on trees killed by mountain pine beetles, if the plan is selected as a project for Phase II of BC Hydro's Bioenergy Call for Power.

Plans for the $260 million 60-megawatt plant in the Cariboo Chilcotin were developed through a partnership between Western Biomass Power Corp. and Tsilhqot'in National Government. It is one of many proposals vying for a place in the Bioenergy Call for Power, a program to provide British Columbia with clean energy and diversify rural economies.

Phase II includes a two-stream process, the first targeting larger-scale biomass projects and the second focusing on smaller-scale, community-level biomass energy solutions, according to BC Hydro. Phase I, conducted in 2008, included projects that were immediately viable and resulted in four electricity purchase agreements that were filed with the British Columbia Utilities Commission in February. The program will help the province reach its goal of becoming electrically self-sufficient by 2016.