February 2016 Newsletter

A Message from Heating the Midwest Chairs
Although the current heating season is not what we had hoped for-warm start to the year, low gas prices and coming off a prior shortage that created an oversupply this current year-it presents an opportunity to focus on educating communities on alternative opportunities for investing in sustainability for the future should the current environment take a turn in the other direction.   With the current heating season resulting in a premature slow down, producers suddenly having spare time on their hands for special projects.  As such, we have a perfect opportunity for you-become active  in Heating the Midwest!  Heating the Midwest has continued to grow and build momentum since its launch in 2011, and more on-the-ground active participation continues to be one of its primary priorities.

Heating the Midwest now has three active action teams-Biomass Combustion Technology, Policy & Benefits, and Biomass Resources & Demographics, which you will have an opportunity to read more about further into this newsletter.  We continually seek industry professionals and students to populate these teams so that we can act on situations such as this current heating season, and do what we can to strengthen the industry’s position should the environment more strongly support the need for biomass thermal (i.e. high gas prices and more seasonal winter seasons creating a stronger demand).  Help us make the best of the downturn by taking the initiative to be more engaged in activities that help improve our industry as a whole-get involved in Heating the Midwest by contacting Tami Dahm at tdahm@auri.org!

Save the Date! HTM 5th Conference & Expo (Fall 2016)

“Adopting Renewable Biomass Heat: Investing In Tomorrow’s Sustainable Communities”

October 11-13, 2016

Island Resort & Casino

14 miles west of Escanaba, MI

Program, registration and sponsorship/vendor details forthcoming.

HTM 5th Conference & Expo (Fall 2016) – Opportunity to Get Involved!
Are you interested in getting more involved in biomass thermal energy? The 5th Annual Heating the Midwest Conference & Expo will be held October 11-13, 2016 near Escanaba, MI, and planning is underway!
We welcome your insight and energy to make next year’s event the best yet! We are holding monthly meetings, and have subcommittees established. For more information on how you can get involved in the planning committee or a subcommittee, please contact the respective chair noted below for your area of interest:

Minnesota state legislators tour Koda Energy in Shakopee
On February 15, HTM steering committee member Stacy Cook, along with members of his team, hosted two Minnesota state legislators for a meeting and facility tour of Koda Energy in Shakopee, MN. Stacy provided Rep. Bob Loonan and Sen. Eric Pratt with background on the 23 MW facility and discussion focused on the important role and viability of biomass baseload CHP as a clean, reliable, and efficient source of energy generation. The tour was organized by Clean Energy Economy Minnesota, a coalition of statewide business leaders and organizations working to educate decision-makers on the economic opportunities and benefits associated with the transformation to a clean energy economy.

Proposals for Wood-to-Energy Projects
The Office of the Arizona State Forestry is seeking proposals for wood-to-energy projects.

Register Today for an Amazing Opportunity!
Register for a 10 Week Hydronic-Based Biomass Heating Systems Course.
View more information

High-tech plant turns wood into energy
Read the full story

Heating the Midwest-Become an Action Team Volunteer!
If you have a specific area of interest related to biomass thermal, we welcome your participation in one or all of HTM’s three action teams-Biomass Combustion Technologies, Policy & Benefits, and Biomass Resources & Demographics. Is your time often stretched? No problem. Time committed to the HTM effort is volunteer time. The teams meet monthly via conference call, and calls are limited to one hour in respect of members’ time and busy schedules. Members may choose to volunteer more of their time individually to support Action Team specific projects as they arise.  The work of each of the action teams involves developing “boots on the ground” projects for spurring action, discussing industry challenges in each sector and how to possibly address, networking and supporting the overall goals and vision of the Heating the Midwest with Renewable Biomass initiative in an effort to grow demand and expand marketing opportunities in the biomass thermal sector, and create awareness of biomass thermal. Following is a list of the schedule for the action team calls:
  • Biomass Combustion Technologies Action Team
    Meets first Tuesday of each month at 9:00 a.m. CST
  • Policy & Benefits Action Team
    Meets second Tuesday of each month at 9:00 a.m. CST
  • Biomass Resources & Demographics Action Team
    Meets third Monday of each month at 10:00 a.m. CST
For more detailed information on the Biomass Combustion Technologies or Policy & Benefits Action Teams, please contact Nan Larson at nlarson@auri.org or via phone at: (507) 537-6020. And for details pertaining to the Biomass Resources & Demographics Action Team, please contact Becky Philipp at bphilipp@auri.org or via phone at (218) 280-8575.
Call for Your Midwest Biomass Stories and Events for March Newsletter
As you’ve seen month after month; companies, governments, and communities around the Midwest are making progress on biomass heating and combined heat and power (CHP) programs and projects. If you have a story or event to contribute for next month, please submit by close of business the 3rd Wednesday of the month to tdahm@auri.org.  And, if you’d like to be on the list to receive upcoming newsletters, please contact Tami Dahm at tdahm@auri.org.
Have Biomass Project Ideas for a SWET?