published on July 12, 2022 - 2:12 PM
Written by The Business Journal Staff

A biomass power plant in Madera will soon be under new ownership with the announcement of an acquisition agreement Tuesday.

Clean Energy Systems, Inc. in Rancho Cordova plans to acquire the idled Madera Biomass Power Plant and convert it into a biomass carbon removal and storage facility (BiCRS), according to a news release.

The terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Coming online  near Avenue 7 ½ and Firebaugh Road in 1989, the Madera plant has the capacity to produce 25 megawatts of electricity burning 750 tons of ag waste per day. It has been idled and powered up various times in its history, according to government records. The plant previously sold its electricity to Pacific Gas & Electric Co.

Once converted into a BiCRS facility, it will convert farm waste from local farms into a renewable synthesis gas that will be mixed with oxygen in a combustor to generate electricity and/or hydrogen, according to the release.

Making it unique in the region: More than 99% of the carbon from the process is expected to be captured for permanent storage by injecting carbon dioxide underground into nearby deep geologic formations.

When completed, the facility is expected to remove about 600,000 tons of carbon dioxide from the environment and use 400,000 tons of farm waste annually. The plan is for a net-negative carbon emission process that removes greenhouse gas from the atmosphere, according to the release.

“We are excited for the opportunity to expand our efforts to address the challenges of climate change, improve air quality in the Central Valley and make a vital contribution to the local economy by converting an idled biomass plant into a BiCRS facility,” said Keith Pronske, Clean Energy Systems president and CEO. “We look forward to engaging and working with all neighboring landowners and other stakeholders as we progress this critical project in the coming months.”

The work builds upon the efforts of similar projects in Fresno and Kern Counties, which are under active development. The acquisition is subject to continued due diligence, with closing expected in early 2023.


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