Cantwell Helps Secure Grant for Skamania County Biomass Company

Wind River Biomass Utility will use forest waste to produce energy, firewood, and wood chips, bringing new jobs to Skamania County

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Earlier this month, U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA), a senior member of the Senate Committee on Small Business & Entrepreneurship, helped Skamania County-based Wind River Biomass Utility LLC win a $190,000 grant to support their business operations.

Wind River Biomass uses forest waste to produce energy, firewood, and wood chips for sale to local campgrounds and other businesses.

“I support this project as a tool for economic development of a heavily forested county, for forest restoration and wildfire fuels reduction work, and for demonstration of benefits of remote combined-heat-and-power (CHP) in terms of power generation efficiency,” Cantwell wrote in her letter supporting the company’s grant application.

The grant Cantwell helped secure – from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) – will support Wind River in its business operations.

“Thanks to Senator Cantwell, Washington State Department of Natural Resources, our Skamania County Board of Commissioners, our Port, our EDC, and the Columbia Cascade Housing Corporation for your support of our grant application to the USDA's REAP,” said Paul Spencer of Wind River Biomass Utility, LLC.

Spencer added that the $190,000 REAP grant will help Wind River Biomass acquire “some of the capital equipment needed to deploy our in-house gasification system for production of heat, electrical power, and biochar from renewable resources, like non-commercial logs and slash from our forests.”

Once fully operational, Wind River Biomass will process waste wood biomass to produce a variety of energy, including electrical, thermal, biochar, and firewood, creating new jobs and economic opportunities for Skamania County.

A copy of Senator Cantwell’s letter supporting the project is available HERE.