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Yosemite Clean Energy secures site for first commercial-scale biofuels plant

In the United States (US), Yosemite Clean Energy LLC (Yosemite) has announced that they have secured the site for developing their first carbon-negative green hydrogen and renewable natural gas (RNG) production plant in Oroville, California (CA), with groundbreaking scheduled for Q2 of 2022.

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In commercial operations since 2003, the 8 MWth (fuel) biomass-fired combined heat and power (CHP) plant in Güssing, Austria utilizes Repotec’s steam fluidized-bed gasification (prototype plant of the FICFB-process) and has reliably delivered electricity and heat for the municipality of Güssing for more than 100 000 operating hours, while the system provided a platform for numerous research projects (photo courtesy Repotec).

Yosemite’s biofuels production facilities will utilize proven Austrian-based gasification technology, successfully commercialized and deployed by Christian Aichernig of Repotec GmbH, to produce commercial-scale carbon-negative green fuels.

The Oroville plant will be the flagship dual-bed gasification facility in the Americas, following over 100 000 hours of commercial run-time across developed plants in Europe, Japan, and South Korea.

California has an estimated 35 million tonnes of waste woody biomass available annually, currently left to burn, decay, and decompose, emitting immense amounts of greenhouse gases and black carbon.

Yosemite will sustainably convert this biomass into syngas, from which carbon-negative green hydrogen and RNG are produced using downstream technology already widely commercialized in the US. One plant will produce an estimated 31 000 kg per day of RNG and 12 200 kg per day of green hydrogen.

These-carbon negative fuels will be used to support California’s bold emission targets as it transitions to a carbon-neutral economy.

Yosemite and our team of engineers, forest and farm professionals, legal, marketing, and financial teams will lead the company to become the first wood waste biomass plant to produce commercial-scale carbon-negative green hydrogen and RNG for the California fuel markets, said Tom Hobby, President of Yosemite Clean Energy.

Roll out plants as locally owned

Over the next 10 years, Yosemite plans to have biomass energy plants across California and North America. Each Yosemite biofuels plant will be locally owned by farmers and forest landowners, who in return will provide wood waste, gathered at the end of the orchard’s lifecycle or through sustainable forest management (SFM).

This is new. This type of ownership in biofuels facilities like ours is the democratization of clean energy. We’re providing an all-new mineral right from a waste stream and converting it to a revenue stream for farmers and forest communities, said Robert Jackson, VP of Business Development at Yosemite Clean Energy.

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