Iberdrola creates 70 jobs in Lakewood

| Print |  Email
Articles - December 2010
Wednesday, November 17, 2010

 

1210_ATS18
A new biomass energy plant on the edge of Lakeview will create 70 fulltime jobs in a county with 14% unemployment. // Photo courtesy of Iberdrola Renewables

Portland-based Iberdrola Renewables has broken ground on a biomass energy plant in Lakeview that will bring much-needed jobs to an area with chronically high unemployment rates.

Construction of the plant, which has eco-friendly boilers, has started at a 55-acre site on the edge of Lakeview. The plant will cost between $75 million and $100 million and is set to start producing 25 megawatts of energy by fall 2012. It will create 70 full-time jobs for the town of 2,700 and the surrounding area. At peak construction time, there should be around 150 workers, according to Lakeview city manager Ray Simms. Lake County had a 14% unemployment rate in September.

The plant will have a 15-year property tax abatement, but will pay $350,000 the first two years to cover municipal services; in year three, that amount will increase 3% each year. In  year 16 the plant will begin generating  $1.4 million to $1.8 million in annual taxes.

“Seventy jobs in our town is huge,” Simms says. Twenty jobs will be in the plant and 50 will be workers who harvest biomass from dead and diseased trees as well as plant debris on the forest floor. One-third of the biomass for the plant will come in the form of scrap wood from a nearby sawmill.

“I’ve heard that a juniper takes 30 to 50 gallons of water a day,” Simms says about the thirsty species that will be harvested for biomass. “That would water five head of cattle.” Proponents of the project say plant operations will help manage the surrounding woodlands better, areas that have been affected by the pine bark beetle and juniper overgrowth.

Though the plant will still produce pollutants by the ton, the emissions will be less than those of previous plants thanks to more modern and efficient boilers. “It’s better than leaving it to burn in the forests,” says Mark Fisher of the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality.

PETER BELAND
 

More Articles

Fighting Fire With Fire

May 2015
Friday, April 24, 2015
BY BEN DEJARNETTE | INVESTIGATEWEST

Timber companies and environmental groups take a stab at collaboration to boost logging and restoration in Oregon fires.


Read more...

Nine lives

Linda Baker
Friday, May 22, 2015
0f4f7bfBY LINDA BAKER | EDITOR

Roy Kaufmann always lands on his feet.


Read more...

Foundations perspective

May 2015
Monday, April 27, 2015
BY KIM MOORE

A conversation with Martha Richards, executive director of the James F. & Marion L. Miller Foundation.


Read more...

The ancient fish that stops bullets

The Latest
Friday, May 08, 2015
hagfishthumbBY CHRIS NOBLE | PHOTOS BY JASON E. KAPLAN

Hagfish may not have evolved much over the last 300 million years, but their protein-heavy slime promises advances in super-materials.


Read more...

An uncertain future

Guest Blog
Thursday, May 21, 2015
norristhumbBY JASON NORRIS | GUEST BLOGGER

Uncertainty is a part of doing business, whether in through the lens of investment opportunities and risks or the business of running an enterprise.


Read more...

Make the Case

May 2015
Monday, April 27, 2015

10 briefcases that mean business.


Read more...

6 things to know about the Amtrak Cascades route

The Latest
Friday, May 22, 2015
thumb3BY JACOB PALMER | DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR

The recent tragedy in Philadelphia has called attention to Amtrak and the nation's woefully underfunded rail service. Here are six facts about the Amtrak Cascades corridor between Eugene and Vancouver B.C. 


Read more...
Oregon Business magazinetitle-sponsored-links-02
SPONSORED LINKS