Biomass One is accepting to use Christmas trees as biomass fuel for its 25 megawatt (MW) per annum wood-fired steam and electricity cogeneration production power plant. The plant is located in Medford, Oregon. Biomass One is expecting to receive around 4,500 trees in 2009 with the majority expected to come from local tree lots. The wood-fired power plant has started operating in 1985. In total, Biomass One has spent above $50 million for the plant.

“As time goes on we’re probably seeing fewer real pine trees only because I think the quality of artificial trees is increasing and people are going that direction more,” Gordon Draper, vice president of Biomass One, said, adding that the company anticipates more people to drop off their trees at local drop yards after January 1, 2009.

Draper expects that 4,500 trees equals out to around 56 dry tons of wood biomass, which can provide about an hour and a half worth of power to Biomass One’s cogeneration power plant in Medford. That pales in comparison to the 325,000 dry tons per annum of wood biomass it grinds up to power the plant.

“In the grand scope of things, it’s not all that much,” Draper said, adding that the collection of Christmas trees is merely more of a community service than a self-serving company strategy. “But, every little bit helps.”