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Biomass at SOC
The Small Modular Biopower System Project


The Shasta Energy Group has worked for five years to put together this project –it promises to be a step toward Siskiyou County’s energy independence.

The project is a demonstration of biomass gasification technology. Grants from the Department of Energy (DOE) and the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) are funding a trial run of a Biomax 25 device, a small modular distributed energy biomass power system based on downdraft gasifier technology that uses high bulk fuels such as woodchips and nut shells to produce both heat and power. The gasification process produces electricity by converting the wood chips to gas, then burning the gas, producing very little smoke or noise. Community Power Corporation (CPC) will manufacture this prototype unit and deliver it to the Siskiyou Opportunity Center (SOC), 1516 South Mount Shasta Boulevard this summer, and monitor its performance for a year, according to the contract with the funders. Once the trial period is over, CPC will work toward improving the device, so that it can be commercialized and made available to farmers, isolated home owners, and others who have a supply of wood chips or other biomass fuel, and the need to generate their own electricity.

We are proud that this project benefits the community in multiple ways. The Siskiyou Opportunity Center (SOC) provides support services to developmentally disabled adults who are employed manufacturing wood products (fencing, furniture, and firewood) and at the agency’s recycling center. The Biomax 25 will generate electricity to supplement the power needs of SOC’s operations, saving that non-profit organization money every month, as their Pacific Power bill should be reduced once the Biomax 25 is up and running.

The new building which will house the Biomax 25.

Site work at SOC is COMPLETED!

Before the Biomax 25 could be installed, it was necessary to construct a building to house it. During April 2006 volunteer Tom Tharp (of Highland Design) designed the site improvements, built forms for the concrete slabs, recruited and directed the work of the volunteers for the concrete “pour,” donating more than 80 hours of skilled labor. The Shasta Energy Group (SEG) and the Siskiyou Opportunity Center (SOC) are grateful for the efforts of the project’s most recent volunteers:

  • Tom Tharp, Highland Design
  • Mike Blackburn, Blackburn Builders
  • Dana Smitt
  • Doug Orton
  • Steve Morrell


Funds from the U.S. Forest Service paid for the materials and contracted labor for the site improvements, as well as for the new metal building that was erected in May 2006.

Donations from local service and material providers helped the project stay within budget. A big SEG thank you goes out to:

  • Jerry Hickey of Mount Shasta Electric
  • Sousa Ready Mix
  • Weed Building Supply
  • Vern Swenson (excavation services)

All of these local providers donated materials and services for the site improvements at reduced rates.

Sustainability Forum
Local and regional experts present on a range of sustainability topics

Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy Projects

Demonstration and Pilot Projects:


Mount Shasta Recycles
Wind Study

Current opportunities:
SEG is seeking volunteer help for several aspects of the Biomass Demonstration project

  • Electrical Engineer
  • Concrete slab installation workers
  • Pole building installers
  • Project Manager
  • PR/Marketing
  • Office help
  • And other help

Biomax 15 in the news: Easy-to-use unit converts scrap wood to electricity

 site by: Norfork Design, Inc.
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