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Press Release: May 18, 2011

Governor Kitzhaber Announces Grants to Promote Biomass, Energy, and Rural Economic Development


(SALEM, Ore.) –
The Oregon Department of Energy and Business Oregon have selected three projects to receive grants from the Forest Products Energy Project. The effort is part of Governor Kitzhaber’s initiative to get Oregonians back to work, promote forest health restoration,and generate renewable energy. The grant recipients are: Prineville Sawmill Company in Prineville;Blue Mountain Lumber Products in Pendleton;and Ochoco Lumber in John Day.

The selected energy projects will study the feasibility of developing combined heat and power at two lumber mills and a plan to improve and expand thermal energy production at a third. The studies are expected to be completed by September 2011.

"These projects will promote efficient use of biomass while strengthening business, promoting forest health, and creating jobs," said Governor Kitzhaber. "Our forest products industry is well positioned to support the increased use of biomass, creating additional renewable energy market opportunities."

The Forest Products Energy Project is designed to develop additional renewable energy capability, to encourage investments in forest product mills, and to retain and create jobs in the wood products industry. The project is an effort between the Oregon Department of Energy, Business Oregon, the Oregon Department of Forestry,and the Energy Trust of Oregon.

The group is also announcing a second round of grant offerings. Existing local forest product companies in Oregon can compete for these grants, which evaluate the feasibility of using biomass for renewable energy production.

The announcement for this opportunity and more details about the project can be found on the ODOE website at:  http://www.oregon.gov/ENERGY/BUSINESS/oregon_forest_products_energy_project.shtml.

Media Contacts:
Christine Miles, 503-559-8795
Amy Wojcicki, 503-689-5324

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