Welcome to the informational page on the Plumas Health and Human Services Center Biomass Project! We will use this page to share project details with the public. We will work to post regular updates throughout construction. Please contact Camille Swezy at email@example.com with any questions.
The Sierra Institute was awarded a $2.6 million EPIC grant from the California Energy Commission (CEC) in 2015 for design and construction of a biomass-fired heating system at Plumas County’s Health and Human Services Center (HHSC). This facility will provide heat to the HHSC, and will generate electricity through an Organic Rankine Cycle process to supplement the power needs of HHSC during the winter months. Wood chips derived from sustainable forest management activities within Plumas County will fuel the boiler, and the entire system will be housed within California’s first full cross laminated timber (CLT) building.
Once fully constructed and operational, Plumas County will serve as the prototype for how rural, forested communities can advance utilization of locally-sourced biomass material to benefit both local economies and surrounding forestland.
For more information/media coverage:
Presentation to the Plumas County Board of Supervisors, July 11 2017
Sierra Institute biomass heating project to break ground, Biomass Magazine, August 9 2017
Solving a Heat Load Hardship, Biomass Magazine, November/December 2017 Print Issue
Biomass boiler debuts April 6, Plumas News, March 18, 2018
Biomass project ribbon cutting draws a crowd, Plumas News, April 13, 2018
Watch cross laminated timber construction in action!
Time lapse video made by Sierra Institute can be found here.
Ribbon Cutting Highlights
April 6, 2018
Construction launched early August 2017 and will continue through February 2018. A rough development timeline is as follows:
- Excavation and compaction: August to early September 2017
- Foundation/pour concrete slab, trenching to main building: September through early October 2017
- CLT building construction: December 2017 (delayed from October)
- Equipment installation, commissioning: January 2018 – February 2018
Week of 3/5:
We are nearing completion of the equipment installation! Extensive control wiring for the system will be occurring over the next several weeks. Crews are aiming to begin the commissioning period on 3/17.
Week of 2/5:
The ORC power generator has arrived!
Week of 1/29:
Week of 1/22:
After years in the making, the long awaited day of a biomass boiler arriving in Quincy has finally arrived. Crews this week worked to get all major equipment pieces into the building before a storm moved through the area. Equipment installation work will last through mid-February, with a system commissioning period immediately following.
Some photos highlights can be found below–
Week of 12/11:
Boiler building is up! Quincy based crews erected California’s first full cross-laminated timber building last week in just a couple days. Below are some highlights from construction. Equipment for the biomass heating system will arrive mid-January with installation and commissioning lasting through February.
Week of 10/23: Main slab concrete pour
Week of 10/16: Main slab steel:
Week of 10/2: First pour, placement of pre-cast vault (for ash pit)
Week of 9/25: formwork and steel
Week of 9/11: excavation and ground stabilization work has completed, and crews are moving on to the foundation prep phase. Utility lines, below grade bins, and footings are being placed this week and next. The concrete slab will be poured toward the end of the month.
Week of 9/5 : crews have spent the past several weeks performing the excavation and ground strengthening work at the project site. Geogrid material and base rock have been added in layers to ensure the ground will support the heavy timber and biomass equipment. We anticipate the foundation development work to begin the week of September 11.