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County mulling downtown biomass plant

first_imgClark County commissioners agreed Wednesday to spend $225,000 of a federal energy block grant on studying the feasibility of building a biomass-fueled power plant in downtown Vancouver.The biomass boiler system would be fueled by tree tops, limbs and the detritus of producing lumber and would generate steam to provide central heating, cooling and domestic water heating for five county buildings: the Public Service Center, courthouse, jail, 911 center and the juvenile courthouse. The plant would be located at the former Corwin Beverage Company buildings at West 12th and Harney Streets, west of the jail. The county bought the four Corwin buildings several years ago.The county would be looking for a private partner to operate the plant and buyers for the excess power generated by the 3.75-megawatt plant, said Mark McCauley, general services manager. Commissioners agreed to do a detailed study of the proposal after expressing their own reservations and hearing cautionary words from administrator Bill Barron, who reminded the commissioners that they would have to assume debt to build the $10 million- to $18 million-dollar plant.last_img read more