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Cortus Energy awarded US$5 million for Californian biomass power project

Cortus Energy AB has announced that it has received a US$5 million grant from the California Energy Commission to demonstrate new high-efficiency small-scale biomass power technologies in California, US.

Cortus Energy's biomass gasification demonstration plant in Köping, Sweden.

Cortus Energy’s biomass gasification demonstration plant in Köping, Sweden.

Swedish gasification technology developers Cortus Energy AB has announced that it has received a US$5 million grant from the California Energy Commission to demonstrate new high-efficiency small-scale biomass power technologies.

Cortus Energy in collaboration with a non-commercial local group in Mariposa, California, “Mariposa Biomass Project” (MBP) has developed a project for small-scale biomass power. The support is a major step towards establishing a first WoodRoll in the North American market.

The project intends to gasify local forest residues to syngas in a modular 6 MW WoodRoll unit. The syngas will be used power a gas engine to produce 2.4 MW of electricity for the grid.

Removals from Californian forests have been too low over a long period and has resulted in a build-up of material. This has led to severe forest fires and extensive forest loss due to bark beetle. With this in mind, the State of California has introduced a strong support system for small-scale biomass power in the form of feed-in tariffs (FIT) and investment subsidies, US$10 million was allocated to demonstrate new high-efficiency technologies in two different projects.

According to Cortus Energy, the project in Mariposa received the highest evaluation score and received one contribution of US$5 million. The support goes to the project administered by Mariposa County Resource Conservation District. MBP is now driving the process to ensure all necessary permits with decisions from applicable authorities expected during the latter half of 2017.

Cortus Energy intends to build and co-own the plant. Discussions with various potential local cooperation partners have begun. In addition, financiers and feedstock supply need to be secured as well as a sufficient term and level of the FIT before a project investment decision can be taken. A decision is estimated to be made during the first half of 2018.

– The investment aid is very encouraging and confirms the technological leap that WoodRoll represents for gasifying biomass in a highly efficient manner. The support means that the conditions for a first WoodRoll project in North America are good, said Rolf Ljunggren, CEO Cortus Energy in a statement.

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