Think local, think renewable, and think power. That's what Flathead Electric Cooperative and F.H. Stoltze Land and Lumber Company agreed to when they signed an agreement that will have the lumber company selling power to the co-op.
"They?ll use residual energy off their mill site to actually generate electricity which will in turn deliver and serve our commercial and residential members with," said FEC assistant General Manager Mark Johnson.
F.H. Stoltze will be building an electric generation facility that uses biomass, like bark and sawdust, to fuel the plant. This was an idea that has been well received by a company that has seen some tough times.
"We?ve been fortunate enough to put this project together and to get commitments from the Stoltze family and Flathead Electric and this adds a significant amount of stability to our company and ensures our future," explained Stoltze Plant Manager Joe O?Rourke.
O?Rourke says the construction process should take around 18 months. Contractors have approached F.H. Stoltze and indicated that they'd like to hire locally. The completion of the facility will also help out the logging industry.
"There will be an opportunity for more loggers to participate in providing fuel to the facility," said O?Rourke.
FEC will purchase the electricity from the lumber company. By keeping the power local, officials are confident this is something that the Flathead Valley can appreciate.
"It?s a project I think the whole community can take pride in," concluded O?Rourke.
F.H. Stoltze Land and Lumber Company say they see the facility becoming fully operational in October 2013.