Placer County, Calif. – Pioneer Community Energy (Pioneer) and Sierra Pacific Industries (SPI) signed a 10-year agreement for SPI to supply renewable biomass energy credits, providing Pioneer the opportunity to meet is renewable energy electricity obligations at the lowest possible cost. These credits are generated at SPI’s five California biomass cogeneration electricity facilities including a local plant in Lincoln.
“The City of Lincoln joined Pioneer to have local control over the cost of electricity and the power to choose where that electricity comes from,” said Peter Gilbert, Lincoln Vice Mayor and Pioneer Board member. “When Pioneer purchases power locally, we stimulate the local economy and keep people employed.”
The Lincoln biomass cogeneration facility is an integral part of the company’s sawmill complex that employs about 350 people as it provides electricity to run the mill site and produces steam to dry the lumber. The other biomass facilities are also co-located with SPI sawmills in Plumas, Shasta and Tuolumne counties, supporting the economies of those rural communities.
The contract with Pioneer represents a purchase of a significant portion of SPI facilities’ total production of these energy credits. Pioneer’s purchase agreement reflects the Pioneer Board’s commitment to biomass.
“Pioneer has had a goal to purchase power locally and to support biomass which helps keep our forests healthy while reducing wildfire risk,” said Greg Janda, Rocklin City Councilmember and Pioneer Board chair. “The contract with Sierra Pacific Industries helps Pioneer meet its goals while satisfying important regulatory requirements.”
“Our crew is proud to be using locally grown, harvested and manufactured wood products to also help provide renewable power to homes in our own neighborhoods,” said Brian Coyle, SPI Lincoln Sawmill manager. “This is a partnership that provides both environmental and economic solutions for our community.”
The long-term contract with SPI also helps fulfill Pioneer’s obligation to meet the California Public Utility Commission’s 65% long-term renewable energy purchase requirement. Renewable energy sources include biomass, biofuel, geothermal, wind and solar.
ABOUT PIONEER: Pioneer is a local government, not-for-profit partnership between the cities of Auburn, Colfax, Lincoln, Rocklin, the Town of Loomis and Placer County, serving more than 95,000 residential and commercial accounts throughout the county. Pioneer was formed to provide electric generation at stable and competitive rates, while offering programs that deliver economic and workforce benefits for the local community.
ABOUT SPI: Sierra Pacific Industries is a third-generation, family-owned forest products company based in Anderson, California. In addition to producing enough renewable energy to power about 126,000 homes, the company owns and manages nearly 2 million acres of timberland in California and Washington and is one of the largest U.S. lumber producers. SPI also manufactures millwork and windows.