Construction halted on Lakeview biomass plant

Iberdrola Renewables announced it would halt construction of its Lakeview biomass plant.

Iberdrola Renewables announced it would halt construction of its Lakeview biomass plant.

Iberdrola Renewables said this week it would stop construction on its planned biomass plant in Lakeview for lack of a power purchase agreement for the electricity that would have been generated there.

The somewhat controversial plant, which Iberdrola began construction on last November, would have produced 26.8 megawatts of power. The Herald and News reports that cost estimates for the plant ranged from from $20 million to more than $75 million.

Iberdrola, which keeps its U.S. headquarters in Portland, put the brakes on the project due to the market.

"Since Iberdrola Renewables announced the Lakeview biomass project, the market for power purchase agreements nationwide has become unattainable due to the economy and lower energy prices generally," said a statement from the company released this week. "In this current economic climate, Iberdrola Renewables has decided not to build more projects without a long term agreement to sell the output. We have decided to cease construction efforts until we are able to obtain a long term power agreement sufficient to support the restart of construction at the Lakeview biomass site."

The Lakeview site is about 90 miles east of Iberdrola's Klamath Cogeneration Plant. In June, Iberdrola announced long-range plans to build a second biomass plant adjacent to its Klamath site.

The Lakeview plant was going to use woody biomass fuel from Collins Pine Company in a combined heat and power facility. While Lakeview residents feared the facility's impact on local air quality, studies showed it could have actually helped clear the air.

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