Honey Lake Power reduces forest fire potential while supporting the local community during emergency events.
What is Honey Lake Power?
The Honey Lake Power (HLP) plant is a renewable energy power plant that converts forest residues, waste biomass, and high hazard fuels into clean power, all while reducing the likelihood of future forest fires. Each year HLP generates 175,000 megawatt-hours (MWh), or enough to power over 26,000 homes for a year. Additionally, HLP is the only generator in the region able to support Lassen Municipal Utility District (LMUD) as it supplies its customers during large fires, including homes, hospitals, and first responders. In 2018 during the Camp Fire that devastated the town of Paradise, HLP supported LMUD’s operations for 21 days. In 2021, HLP provided power during the deadly Dixie Fire for 67 days straight. HLP is proud of its employees and their resilient community!
Starting in 2017 as part of an effort by the state to reduce the risk of forest fire, HLP began selling its power to San Diego Gas & Electric under a long-term Power Purchase Agreement. The plant’s special designation to use about 80% “high hazard” biomass allowed HLP to support local forest health and fire production as this fuel comes from distressed forest areas with large amounts of dead and standing trees. “High hazard” fuel comes from regions of California that state agencies have identified as very high risk for a future fire, so by HLP taking this material, we help prevent future forest fires. Because of these shifts in forest management HLP has converted 150,000 tons per year on average of this type of biomass into power.
Over the past 20 years, and in particular over the past seven, severe drought and an epic bark beetle infestation have killed well over 100 million trees in the region. These trees, dried to tinder by the drought, burn ferociously when ignited and present a continuing threat to the trees and forests that are still alive. The dead and dried trees that were classified as “high hazard” became a focus of forest managers, and the area has put significant effort into harvesting and chipping dead trees from the at-risk forest areas.
Greenleaf Power acquired HLP in 2010 and has more than 20 full-time staff and dozens of contractors during the spring and fall outage seasons. Estimates indicate that biomass power plants generate 10 times as many jobs as a comparably-sized conventional natural gas power plant.
HLP utilizes a travelling grate wood-fired boiler and steam turbine generator. The boiler is equipped with multi-clones and an electrostatic precipitator for particulate control, ammonia injection for NOx control, and sodium bicarbonate reagent for sulfur dioxide control. HLP operates under a Title V Permit and is compliant with all Federal, State, and Regional regulations. The plant is a qualified in-state base load renewable resource (CEC# #60077E).
If you have biomass to sell, please contact our team at (916) 596-2500 for specifications and pricing.