Loyalton, California Biomass

The 20MW plant is a baseload 24/7 renewable power generation facility located on 212 acres adjacent to the City of Loyalton in Sierra County, CA. The facility commenced operations in the fall of 1987 and operated continuously as a combined heat and power (CHP) plant to serve a large sawmill as well to deliver power to the NV Energy system.

The plant is certified by the California Energy Commission as a renewable energy generator.

The facility operated 24/7 as a cogeneration plant until an onsite sawmill was closed in 2001. The power plant continued in commercial operation with 21 full-time employees until the end of 2010, at which time the site and plant were placed into ready-start condition for restart. ARP has since acquired and refurbished the plant, with operations restarted in April 2018.

Biomass fiber is sourced from nine counties (5 million acres) within one-hour’s drive of the plant. Historically 90%+ of the fuel for the power station has been sourced from surrounding national forests to remove fire-risk forest materials as well as tops and limbs left behind from USFS-authorized timber contracts and ongoing forest thinning activities.

Plant Overview

Power Systems: The facility consists of a woody biomass fired 335.7 MMbtu Riley boiler which supplies ~200,000 pounds of steam to a GE condensing turbine directly coupled to a 20 MW generator. The boiler is specifically designed to receive and burn a broad range of woody biomass sourced materials which allows the plant to burn fuel more efficiently with lower air emissions and less overall ash material. This design is a suspended membrane water wall boiler with water-cooled-stationary inclined pinhole type grates. 

Interconnection & Distribution: Loyalton Biomass is interconnected to the NV Energy system at a 60KV substation on its property to deliver its renewable energy into the CAISO system at the Summit 120 substation. Via the NV Energy transmission system, all or a portion of the power can also be transported to BHA/Hilltop substation into the Pacificorp substation at Malin.

Renewable Biomass Procurement: The Loyalton Biomass Plant has historically secured its fiber from sustainably harvested and managed forests (private and public) within a one-hour truck haul distance.

Highly Experienced Plant Staff: The biomass plant is in Sierra County. Most of its staff live within a 20-minute drive of the facility, with many staff having more than 15 years of power plant experience.

Plant and Site Permits

The biomass plant is fully permitted and currently interconnected to the regional utility distribution system. Site features include:

Zoning - The entire 212-acre site is zoned for industrial business Loyalton Industrial Site

Potable water - The site and plant have approved sources of water available including chlorinated city municipal, onsite deep well and surface water.

Sewer-Wastewater Discharge - Onsite septic systems with leach fields and holding tanks.

Fire Protection - The plant has a large, standalone fire protection system that includes a 500,000-gallon water reservoir supplying static 85 psi water pressure at up to 1000 gallons per minute on demand.

Regulatory Compliance Permits

All industrial businesses in California are required to be permitted on their respective wastewater and storm water discharges by the California Regional Water Quality Control Board. The entire Loyalton site is covered under a General Industrial Storm Water Discharge Permit.

Air Emissions and Permits
 Businesses in California that emit any emissions, visible or invisible, are required to apply for an Air Quality Permit with the local Air District, California Air Resources Board-CARB, and Environmental Protection Agency-EPA. Loyalton has permits in place including, the Northern Sierra Air Quality Managment District Permit to Operate, Title V Permit and EPA PSD Permit

Trained onsite staff perform all monitoring and reporting duties to the regulatory agencies mentioned above. Third-party laboratories and periodic external tests are conducted as per the requirements of each permit.

The 7,000T of ash produced by the biomass plant is certified by the California Department of Food and Agriculture as an organic input material. This permits the material to be used as a replacement for commercial lime and is classed as an organic fertilizer.



Loyalton, California Biomass Location Map