Why the controversy over the proposed biomass plant? What’s not to like about the project? It will provide renewable and sustainable energy; save the taxpayers millions of dollars; create family-wage jobs; require no public financing; and comply with all environmental and air quality regulations.
To compare this project to wood-fired boilers and smokestacks of old is disingenuous and be like comparing the performance of a 1954 Rambler to a 2012 Chevy Volt. Innovation and technology have made it possible to design biomass energy plants that are safe, efficient, attractive and environmentally compliant.
Thousands of biomass energy plants are currently operating successfully in the U.S., Canada and Europe. In northern Europe, a significant portion of their energy needs are produced from combined heat and power plants fueled by biomass. Many of these biomass-fueled plants are located in the central city core to take advantage of low-cost heating and cooling. Similarly, there are biomass energy plants located on college and high school campuses across the U.S.
I would suggest that the city of Vancouver look to recent examples of biomass energy plants constructed in the U.S. and then collaborate with Clark County on the permitting and design of a biomass plant that would meet performance and aesthetic requirements.