Greenleaf Buys Power Plant

Greenleaf Power, which operates biomass power plants, said Monday that it has acquired a 28-megawatt biomass power plant from the Town of Scotia. Financial terms were not announced. Sacramento, Calif.-based Greenleaf is backed by Denham Capital Management, an energy-focused PE firm.


Greenleaf Power, a newly formed owner/operator of biomass power plants, announces the purchase of a 28-megawatt biomass power plant from the Town of Scotia. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

In operation since 1988, the plant uses mill residuals and other available biomass to provide heat and power to the town of Scotia and the adjacent saw mill. Located on the timber-rich northern coast of California, abundant fuel is available from a variety of sources including mill residual, forest thinning, logging slash, green-waste sites and landfill diversion. The facility sells its electricity under long-term contract to Pacific Gas & Electric.

Greenleaf Power is focused on growing through the acquisition and development of power plants fueled by residual biomass feedstock. Following acquisition, Greenleaf’s experienced team of clean energy professionals optimize efficiency and production of the plants by undertaking operational and capacity improvements, fuel procurement initiatives and revenue enhancements, among others.

The Scotia plant is the second biomass facility acquired by Greenleaf Power. Earlier this year, Greenleaf purchased the 30-megawatt Honey Lake biomass plant in Wendell, Calif.

“We see enormous potential in biomass energy,” said Hugh Smith, president of Greenleaf Power. “The Greenleaf Power business model is based on the identification of plants in proximity to reliable feedstock supplies, which can be enhanced through basic improvements which increase efficiency and production. Already five months into the process with our first plant, we are optimistic about the opportunity to replicate the model in more facilities around the country and have several projects in sight.”

Greenleaf Power is backed by Denham Capital Management, a leading global energy-focused private equity firm which has made several significant renewable energy investments including Gradient Resources, SunRay Renewables, BioTherm Energy, Big Island Carbon, VitAG and Plantation Energy.

“Greenleaf Power has assembled a proven team of energy professionals who acquire, develop and manage with innovation and expertise biomass projects that provide clean power and thermal energy to electric utilities and businesses,” said Scott Mackin, partner, Denham Capital. “Denham is pleased to support Greenleaf Power as a promising company that provides low cost, baseload renewable energy.”

According to the Energy Information Administration, 53% of all renewable energy consumed in the United States was biomass-based in 2007. Biomass is a renewable energy source made of organic material from plants and animals. Biomass power generation facilities harness the energy stored in such organic materials to produce clean, renewable power. When burned, the chemical energy in biomass is released as heat to power industries and homes.

The use of beneficial biomass resources such as forest residues, agricultural wastes, and urban wood waste diversion can reduce overall carbon emissions by displacing those from fossil fuels, such as coal, oil or natural gas. Biomass power plants use this material for fuel, burning it under controlled, low-emission conditions to generate electricity. In addition, biomass facilities divert waste from landfills and displace the greenhouse gas emissions of the methane that would result from the decomposition and decaying of organic materials contained in landfill, forest accumulation or composting. Emissions of methane create 20 times more greenhouse gas effect than the CO2 produced during combustion. The process generally results in low to negative net carbon emissions; carbon released by burning biomass is more than offset by reduced use of fossil fuels, lower release of methane, and the increased growth rate of replacement biomass.

About Greenleaf Power

Greenleaf Power acquires, develops, owns and operates power projects that utilize residual biomass as fuel. Greenleaf Power currently owns and operates approximately 60 megawatts of biomass generating assets in northern California. Greenleaf Power, previously managed by Recycled Energy Development (RED), has established independent management and is based in Sacramento, Calif. For more information about Greenleaf Power, visit

About Denham Capital

Denham Capital is a leading global private equity firm with offices in Boston, Houston, London, São Paulo, Short Hills, NJ and Singapore. With approximately $4.3 billion of invested and committed capital, Denham makes direct investments in all segments of the energy and commodities value chain including oil and gas, mining and metals, power and renewable investments and energy-related infrastructure and services. The firm invests globally, having made investments in the US, Canada, South America, Europe, Russia/FSU, Africa, Asia and Australia, and across all parts of the capital structure and all stages of the corporate and asset lifecycle, from development projects to mature, operating businesses. Denham typically targets investments between $50 million and $300 million. For more information about Denham Capital, visit Denham Capital does not provide investment advisory services to the public.