– by Marc Benjamin, November 28, 2016, Fresno Bee
Dead trees will continue being turned into electricity near Fresno for another five years after a biomass plant in Malaga got a contract to supply Southern California Edison.
The contract ends concerns that the facility, which employs 25 workers and has a $3.5 million annual payroll, could close soon. The plant’s contract was extended twice this year because of dead trees cut down in the Sierra.
The 24-megawatt plant was supposed to close Dec. 31 without a new contract. Utilities no longer were going to pay for electricity generation from biomass plants because the fixed price that supported the plants was expiring.
Biomass plants in Delano, Mendota, Dinuba, Terra Bella and Firebaugh have closed in recent years because of expired power purchasing agreements.