Graduation Year


Date of Thesis Acceptance

Spring 5-11-2016

Major Department or Program

Economics - Environmental Studies


Jan Crouter


This thesis focuses on an in medias res financial feasibility assessment and benefit-cost analysis of the Enterprise School District biomass thermal energy system located in Wallowa County, Oregon. Two main conclusions are drawn from the analysis of the biomass project. First, the in medias res financial feasibility assessment shows that the project had lower than expected savings for the first operational year, but that in following years, the project’s actual savings matched or exceeded those expected by the ex ante assessment, and the initial investment in the system may be paid back in the originally estimated 20 years. Second, the in medias res benefit-cost analysis of the project’s net benefits for society reveals the importance of assumptions regarding biomass carbon neutrality, the social cost of carbon, discounting, and other factors. Moreover, depending on the assumptions made, the project’s net present value of social benefits can be up to $570,754 more than the net present value of private benefits to the Enterprise School District.

Page Count


Subject Headings

Biomass chemicals -- Carbon neutrality, Evaluation -- Ex ante, Cost effectiveness, Heat storage, Oregon -- Wallowa County -- Enterprise School District, Whitman College -- Dissertation collection 2016 -- Environmental Economics

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Document Type

Public Accessible Thesis

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