Pacific Oroville Power Inc. will be closing by the end of the week, taking with it the $11 million it annually generated for the local economy.
The power plant has been burning wood waste to produce electricity since 1984, but with the lower cost of natural gas, burning biomass has become less popular with consumers. Pacific Oroville Power Inc. Plant Manager Wayne Amer said that the plant will be shutting down because it doesn’t have the money to remain open.
The plant purchased $11 million of local materials annually and had a major economic impact on Oroville.
Amer said that they will be letting go 24 employees but mentioned that employees will have the option to transfer to plants in Delano, Calif. or Mendota, Calif.
Pacific Oroville Power Inc. worked with PG&E to provide electricity to approximately 1,500 homes in Oroville.
Oroville City Council has responded to the closure saying that while they will have to monitor the books after the plant closes, it could create opportunity to have current businesses expand or to have new businesses move into the Oroville area.