The last remnants of the Tracy Biomass Plant are coming down this month to make way for a new commercial development along Schulte Road.
Crews from Millie and Severson General Contractors of Pleasanton have been working since the third week of August, according to site superintendent Kevin Holben, and he expects it will take two more weeks to remove the last parts of the plant and other debris from the 38-acre site.
GWF Power Systems opened the plant in 1990. The plant burned up to 160,000 tons each year of old orchard trees, nut shells, fruit pits, and urban wood waste diverted from landfills. The facility’s steam turbine was capable of producing 20 megawatts of electricity, enough to power 20,000 typical homes.
The last company to operate the biomass plant, formally known as the Thermal Energy Development Partnership facility, was Greenleaf Power LLC of Sacramento. Greenleaf bought the plant in 2013 and closed it in 2015.
A plant in Tracy that generates power by burning waste wood is trying to find help in its bid to start up again after two years of inactivity.
Back in 2017, when Greenleaf was seeking federal assistance to reopen the plant, company officials told the Tracy Press that PG&E had turned to other green power sources that were less expensive than biomass, effectively reducing the plant’s share of the energy market.
Records from the San Joaquin County Assessor’s office show that the property at 14800 W. Schulte Road was sold in April of this year. County public information officer Jolena Voorhis confirmed Wednesday that LBA Logistics of Irvine submitted plans to the county this week to build a 510,990-square-foot distribution warehouse and a 16,584-square-foot truck sales and rental facility.
Voorhis added that the site is zoned for commercial development and the new project doesn’t require planning commission review. The county will do an environmental review of the site, known as an “initial study,” before the project can be approved.
LBA Logistics also owns a new 490,000-square-foot warehouse just west of the former biomass site, and the company is advertising that building on its website.