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News Articles

Scotia power plant sold to biomass-focused company

Eureka Times-Standard
November 16, 2010
Allison White

After about a year on the market, the Scotia power plant has been sold for an undisclosed amount to a Sacramento-based company that focuses on clean energy.

Scotia was formerly a company town owned in whole by Pacific Lumber Co. Following bankruptcy proceedings for PL that finalized in 2008, the community's assets were to be handled by the Town of Scotia Co., which is moving toward privatizing many of the services offered in the town, said Frank Bacik, vice president and director of legal affairs for the Town of Scotia.

Part of that privatization included selling the wood-burning power plant to Greenleaf Power LLC. Having experts maintain facilities in Scotia will ensure those jobs and services are maintained, Bacik said.

The acquisition of Scotia's power plants on Friday marks the second for Greenleaf Power, with the first being the Honey Lake facility near Susanville, said Russell Huffman, general manager of the Scotia plant. He said they do not anticipate any significant changes in employment levels at the facility.

Previously managed under Recycled Energy Development, Greenleaf Power broke off about two months ago to form its own company with the goal of acquiring biomass power plants to improve upon, he said. Biomass is defined as an energy source made of organic material from plants and animals.

"We see enormous potential in biomass energy," Greenleaf Power President Hugh Smith said in a statement.

Scotia's plant fits that bill -- it uses logging slash, landscape clippings, wood waste and other sources to fuel its energy production, Bacik said. The 25-megawatt facility is hooked up to the Pacific Gas and Electric power grid and it sells PG&E energy it produces.

"Anything that is clean can essentially be fuel," but painted wood and similar items cannot be used, Bacik said.

Greenleaf Power is working to acquire these types of power plants to make capital investments and to make the facilities as efficient as possible, Huffman said. They are unsure what projects they will move forward with in Scotia, as they are in the process of identifying the cost and benefits of various ideas. A few potential improvements under consideration include utilizing waste heat from the boiler to lower the amount of fuel it takes to generate every megawatt and upgrading the antiquated control system.

"The focus is trying to bring improvement as fast as we can," Huffman said, but since they just bought the property, there is no estimation yet on when those upgrades might start.

Staff writer Allison White can be reached at 441-0506 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .