The biomass energy plant outside Chinese Camp has been awarded a five-year contract from Southern California Edison to burn wood from forest management operations and high fire hazard zones to produce 18 megawatts of electricity per hour, or 432 megawatts a day, private owners of the plant said this week.
Terms of the deal, which are considered secret, are concealed in documents that refer to a protective order, a nondisclosure certificate, and an interagency confidentiality agreement.
The power purchase agreement took effect March 1 after completion of a scheduled maintenance outage at the plant, which is called Pacific Ultra Power Chinese Station.
The maintenance outage lasted about three months, said Rick Spurlock, west region director of operations for IHI Power Services Corporation, a Tokyo-based owner of Pacific Ultrapower Chinese Station.
The plant boiler was refurbished, and IHI Power Services Corporation spent about $3 million total on maintenance. Now that Pacific Ultrapower Chinese Station has the contract, Spurlock said, the owners plan to invest in redeveloping Chinese Station, possibly to expand its role to include energy storage.
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