Iberdrola picks biomass over natural gas in Klamath Falls
By Christina Williams
Editor, Sustainable Business Oregon
Iberdrola's Klamath Falls natural gas plant will be joined by a biomass facility.
Iberdrola Renewables is changing its plans for Klamath Falls.
Pulled by utility customers with renewable energy requirements to meet, the company will build a 35-megawatt biomass plant on a site formerly permitted for a natural gas facility.
Portland-based Iberdrola, which has operated a natural gas-fired plant in Klamath Falls for 10 years, had pulled a permit for another natural gas facility to go in on adjacent property. Recently, Iberdrola amended its plans stating it would build a biomass plant instead.
"Our customers have a strong interest in renewables, especially baseload renewables," said Paul Copleman, spokesman for Iberdrola.
Given adequate feedstock, biomass power is considered a baseload source of power because it isn't dependent on whether the sun shines or the wind blows.
The natural gas plant was expected to be a 542.5-megawatt facility.
Copleman said there isn't a timeline in place for the Klamath Falls facility as the company is focused on the biomass plant under construction in Lakeview.
The Klamath Falls plant would be able to draw on the local Iberdrola staff of 25 people already based at the natural gas plant.
Iberdrola's plans have caused concern among citizens worried about the air quality impacts of biomass energy generation.
Air quality in Lakeview may actually improve as a result of the biomass plant there.
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