Saturday, March 6, 2021


Walnut Shells will Generate Power for Colusa Mushrooms Grower


Premier Mushrooms Inc. continues to raise the sustainability bar in Colusa County.

Now it is taking sustainability a step further with the commissioning of two BioMax® 100 Systems. These systems will significantly off-set the electric and heat energies used for production by converting local walnut shells into usable on-site energy.

A local business by the name of Ag Biomass Technicians, paved the way for Premier to take the next step to sustainability by connecting them with Community Power Corporation (a wholly owned subsidiary of Afognak Native Corporation) and its BioMax®100 kW System.

BioMax® system technologies and products convert a variety of biomass feedstock into power, heat and/or cooling. At Premier Mushrooms the feedstock will be walnut shells, sourced from Carriere Family Farms in neighboring Glenn County.

Premier is dedicated to being environmentally friendly and community minded. This company has grown into one of the county’s largest private sector employers with more than 200 year-round employees. The installation of the BioMax® 100 Systems will generate more local jobs, creating employment for several people from the area. It will require a construction crew, a BioMax® System operator, and walnut shell delivery driver once it is up and running. The systems will be operated by Community Power Corporation.

The BioMax® 100 kW System is a modular, fully automated, factory-built renewable energy system that converts biomass to electricity, heat and cooling. Each system will occupy an area of approximately 30’ x 30’.

Unlike other biomass to energy systems, the BioMax® uses no water in its process, meaning it will not pull from our already stressed water systems during this time of drought.

The systems meet all air emission requirements and have already received the air permit required for installation.

Its installation of the BioMax® 100 System will continue the farm’s reduction of environmental impacts and support of the local economy and community efforts.

“At Premier, benchmarking and tracking are critical to making long-term improvements.

We have a philosophy that seeks to understand the environmental impacts of its operation and make conscious efforts to reduce them”, says the farm’s sustainability coordinator, Kevin Foley.

Premier Mushroom Inc. CEO John Ashbaugh stated that this system is consistent with our water conservation and renewable energy goals.

“Premier recognizes that sustainability is a journey, not a destination and continuously making incremental improvements is key to moving forward into the 21st century,” said Foley.

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