“Reducing the impact of wildfires to the forest and risk to local communities is a priority for the Forest Service. This new facility will support our restoration and hazardous fuels reduction goals, because it allows us to dispose of woody underbrush in the Deschutes National Forest while also creating a renewable source of energy.”– Kevin Larkin, Bend-Ft. Rock District Ranger of the Deschutes National Forest.
In order to achieve its sustainability goals, a popular Oregon ski resort is building a wood energy facility to heat four of its base area buildings. Ski Area Management reports that Mt. Bachelor in Oregon will be installing a biomass boiler to space heat the following buildings: West Village Lodge, Mountain Gateway Building, Ski Patrol Building, and Todd Lake Building. The project will begin next June, and they are hoping to open it in January 2024.
Beforehand, these wood piles would have been burnt in open slash piles, which emit more CO2. Mt. Bachelor’s 3,412 MBH (1000 kW) biomass boiler will use 1,000 tons of minimally processed wood chips per year. The goal of the project is to reduce the buildup of forest fuels, which various studies have concluded that they increase the risk of wildfires. No trees are being planned on being taken down just for the wood energy facility to be productive.
The new facility will decrease its propane consumption by an estimated 150,000 gallons per year, and its CO2 emissions by 1000 tons annually. Here is Hank Hill’s reaction to this news:
Next year, Mt. Bachelor will also be replacing the Skyliner chairlift with its first-ever six-pack chairlift. Their scheduled opening day for this season is November 25th.