Wood Energy for Public Facilities Program

Clean Energy Fund (CEF)

Various wood types in piles

The Wood Energy for Public Facilities program emphasizes projects that replace fossil energy sources with wood energy products (e.g., pellets, chips, cordwood and other forms of forestry management debris) to meet thermal and/or electrical needs of public facilities.

Contingent Awardee

The Washington State Department of Commerce announced a $388,000 award to the state Department of Corrections through the Wood Energy for Public Facilities program, part of Washington state’s Clean Energy Fund (CEF). It’s the first CEF project aimed at converting a state facility to renewable wood biomass fuel. Funding will be used to install a modern, efficient wood energy system at the Larch Corrections Center near Yacolt in eastern Clark County to offset the use of fuel oil for area heating and hot water.

Forest harvest waste from nearby federal, state and private timberlands will fuel the boiler, creating value for low-grade forest biomass produced through forest management activities. This project will also increase energy resilience for the facility, and act as a model for future projects in the region by demonstrating the social, environmental and economic benefits of wood energy.

This competitive grant award is conditioned upon the execution of a final project agreement and performance-based contract with Commerce. Grants awarded through the wood energy program are designated for public entities undertaking projects that convert furnaces and boilers fueled by oil or propane to wood biomass fuel. Broader program goals include enhancing forest ecosystem function, and supporting energy resilience and forestry jobs in rural, timber-dependent communities.