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News Articles

Scotia power plant going up for sale

Eureka Times-Standard
May 29, 2009
John Driscoll

The Town of Scotia Co. is beginning the process of selling the town's wood-burning power plant.

The company has employed electrical industry investment banking advisor Bodington and Co. of San Francisco to help market the 25-megawatt facility. The plant currently provides power to the town and the Humboldt Redwood Co. sawmill, and sells power to the grid.

Town of Scotia Vice President Frank Bacik said the company is looking for someone to buy and operate the power plant, which would be split off from the town and the mill when they are subdivided as planned. The facility would then sell all its power to the Pacific Gas and Electric Co., Bacik said, and the mill would likely need its own substation.

Bacik said there's little doubt that someone will want to operate the plant.

"It's valuable, it's green, it's clean and it's compliant," Bacik said.

The 23-year-old power plant burns wood waste, mostly from the sawmill, and generates nearly 25 percent of the electricity needs of Humboldt County. It is particularly important because transmission into the county is limited, said David Boyd with the Redwood Coast Energy Authority.

"That's really an important part of the mix," Boyd said.

Bacik said a sale would be part of the long-term transitional process for the town, but it's expected there will be no jobs lost at the power plant. The sale may be billed as an option to buy when the subdivision of the town, power plant and Scotia Inn -- once all owned together by the old Pacific Lumber Co. -- is complete.

PG&E spokeswoman Katie Romans said the power plant, despite its small size, is an important part of the utility's renewable energy portfolio.

"These projects are very important to us and to the communities that they serve," Romans said.