A Californian port authority is planning to burn an invasive plant for biogas in a combined heat and power facility.

The Port of Stockton are examining the possibility of burning the highly invasive water hyacinth plant in order to free up waterways and simultaneously generate power in the area.

Water hyacinth clogs rivers and sloughs in the Delta trapping boats in the authority’s marina by mid-summer and autumn.

Port of Stockton Environmental Manager Jeff Wingfield told Capital Radio News the port is proposing a pilot project to harvest the hyacinth and convert it into methane to power a cogeneration plant.

The port already harvests 2,500 tons a year which is hauled off for composting.

“If we can improve that with new operation of the landsite excavator, I’m hoping to improve that by about ten times at a cheaper cost.”

Wingfield says the port is seeking a $300,000 grant from the Delta Conservancy for the pilot project.

Paul Koehler with Pacific Ethanol says its Stockton plant could eventually turn the invasive weed into electricity.

“If there’s a way we can help be a part of the solution then we’re willing to add our technical expertise to make biogas out of it,” says Koehler.