Local pellet plant project receives forest service grant

Deputy Secretary of Agriculture Xochitl Torres Small announced that the Department of Agriculture’s Forest Service is investing nearly $74 million to create new markets for wood products and renewable wood energy from sustainably sourced wood, spark innovation, and increase the capacity of wood processing facilities.

Made possible in part by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and the Inflation Reduction Act, these investments fund 171 project proposals across 41 States and American Samoa, and directly support forest health and the wood products economy.

The Forest Service is awarding grants to entities across the public, private, and non-profit sectors through its Wood Innovations Grant, Community Wood Grant, and Wood Products Infrastructure Assistance Grant Programs

Grant funding will support proposals that increase demand and create new and innovative uses for sustainably sourced wood. Funded proposals include converting heating systems in schools to sustainable biomass boilers, installing cutting-edge equipment in sawmills and processing facilities to increase efficiency, supporting innovative housing using mass timber, and more.

This includes $300,000 for Pacific Northwest Renewable Energy, LLC to be used in the planning for the Pacific Northwest Renewable Energy/Port of Grays Harbor Pellet Plant project.

That local funding will come from the Wood Innovations Grants. That program looks to invest in proposals that expand traditional wood utilization projects, promote using wood as a construction material in commercial, institutional, and multifamily buildings, and expand wood energy markets. 

“The Biden-Harris Administration is committed to supporting innovation in the wood products and wood energy economies, which are at the heart of so many small towns, especially in Tribal and rural communities,” said Deputy Secretary Torres Small. “These investments will support good paying jobs for families and communities. It will increase the economy’s capacity to manufacture wood products. In turn, sustainably sourcing the wood used to manufacture these products will make our forests healthier and reduce the threat of catastrophic wildfires.”

Officials say that sustainably sourcing materials for wood products directly supports efforts to improve forest health. Removing dead trees and overgrown vegetation reduces wildfire risk, improves forest health, and creates wildlife habitat, all while supporting the forest products economy.

As part of these investments, the Forest Service is providing more than $7 million to 10 project proposals from Tribes that will directly support Tribally owned businesses and project proposals from Tribal governments. These investments are one way the agency is implementing its plan to strengthen Tribal consultation and nation-to-nation relationships.