North Fork Community Power

North Fork Bioenergy Plant

North Fork, CA

A pioneering project to reduce forest fire hazard while producing clean-renewable energy

The Project

North Fork is a small, rural community located in the foothills of the California Sierra Nevada mountain range. Unemployment in the town is over 3 times the national average. Much of this economic distress is a result of the economic dislocation caused by the closing of the local timber mil in 1994. The North Fork community, however, with the assistance of the local Forest Service District, has taken an active role in the redevelopment of the vacant Brownfield mill site. In 2005, North Fork Community Power LLC, a partnership between San Francisco-based Phoenix Energy, LLC and the North Fork Community Development Council, won a $5M grant from the California Energy Commission to build and operate the nation’s first forestry-fueled biomass plant. The 1-MW plant will utilize forest biomass from fire threat reduction activities in the surrounding area to make electricity, heat, and biochar (a solid carbon byproduct that is used as a soil conditioner and filter media).  Central Valley NMTC financing provided necessary funds for construction, equipment and working capital.

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Created 35 construction jobs and 8 permanent jobs that pay a living wage plus benefits

Integral part of North Fork Community’s revitalization plans for forestry based businesses

Clean-up and reutilization of a former Brownfield site

Reduction of 1,300 tons of carbon-dioxide annually


Total Project Cost


NMTC Allocation



Central Valley NMTC Fund, LLC; North Fork Community Development Council, Phoenix Energy, JP Morgan Chase Community Development Banking; Clearinghouse CDFI

Capital for Central Valley Communities