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The Placer County Planning Commission last week approved a conditional use permit and certified the environmental impact report for a proposed biomass facility in the eastern county.

The project will consist of a two megawatt facility that will use woody biomass from the surrounding forestlands to create energy.

The project will be located on county owned property at the Cabin Creek materials recycling facility off Highway 89 near the Placer/Nevada county border. The facility will use gasification technology to convert the biomass material into a synthesis gas, which would then be used as fuel for an internal combustion engine/generator that would produce electricity.

The project would include construction of an 11,000-square foot building that would house the power generating and emissions control equipment and a one-acre fuel storage area. The proposed project would use biomass currently being removed from surrounding United States Forest Service, state and private land as part of ongoing wildfire fuel reduction efforts.

The proposed project would capture the renewable biomass source, and without burning it, convert the biomass to gas, which in turn will power an internal combustion engine that would turn turbines to produce electricity.