How case studies positively impact the biomass industry
There have been many case studies done in recent years to promote the cost-effectiveness of heating with biomass. A recent study funded by the Minnesota Department of Agriculture’s NextGen Energy Grant based on Biomass for Poultry focused not only on cost savings but also on overall bird health when switching to biomass for heating poultry barns. This was a two year collaboration between Bill Koenig of Viking Company, the Agricultural Utilization Research Institute (AURI) and the Minnesota Clean Energy Resource Teams (CERTs). Viking Company in Albany, MN tested a wood heating system in a two-story broiler chicken barn over two years against a comparable barn heated with liquid propane (LP). The woody biomass fuel cost is equivalent to buying propane at only $0.53 per gallon, and it keeps those dollars local. The barn runs more efficiently overall, too. Bird health was also better in the biomass heated barn and they believe the improved performance may be a result of the improved atmosphere in the biomass barn. More information on this case study will be available in the near future and can be found here.
Projects like the one mentioned above are becoming more common as people are exploring the many different options that biomass has to offer. Now is a good time to explore the many varied options tested over past winters for the upcoming heating season. Also keep in mind that there are funding opportunities available to help offset the costs of these types of projects. More information about grants and incentives can be found here.
Case studies are a great way to get the word out and shed light on all of the positive aspects of heating with biomass. We welcome any information you have on case studies you know about, and specifically in the Midwest region.
Steering Committee Member
Heating the Midwest Inc.
In this newsletter:
- New law allows much of MN biomass industry to be shut down
- Funding Opportunities
- Member Request
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- Wood Stove Design Challenge
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New law allows much of Minnesota’s biomass industry to be shut down
Environmentalists and loggers — who are often on opposite sides of issues — are both fighting mad about a new law allowing Xcel Energy to use clean energy development funds to negotiate a shutdown of three renewable energy plants in greater Minnesota.
Environmentalists object to how the money would be used. Loggers, who first heard of the plan late in the legislative session, are outraged that it could devastate many of their businesses.
“The irony is that this is in the jobs bill, but it’s going to cost hundreds and hundreds of jobs,” said Scott Dane, executive director of the Associated Contract Loggers and Truckers of Minnesota.
At issue is a provision tucked into the omnibus jobs and energy bill signed last week by Gov. Mark Dayton.
Read the full story here.
USDA’s Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) grant can cover 25% of project costs and a project can begin after an application has been submitted. Applications are due October 31, 2017 for projects less than $80k and April 1, 2018 for projects of any size. REAP grants are competitive (1 in 4 applicants awarded).
USDA’s Guaranteed Loan provides up to 75% of project costs and is not competitive.
MDA Biomass Thermal Energy Incentive Program. This is a production-based incentive and pays out based on heat generated by mostly Minnesota-sourced biomass.
MDA’s Livestock Investment grant covers 10% of a project’s eligible costs. The application period is September through December.
Additional details available here.
REQUEST: Midwest Biomass Suppliers Resource Guide
Heating the Midwest is conducting a semi-annual review of the Midwest Biomass Suppliers Resource Guide. Please review the guide >> and contact Becky Philipp (firstname.lastname@example.org) with suggested changes. Changes are due by June 30.
Join the Alliance for Green Heat and the Biomass Thermal Energy Council for another FREE webinar!
Title: Automated Wood Stoves
Date and Time: Thursday, June 29, 2017 – 10:00 AM-11:30 AM ET
Presenters: Dr. Ricardo Carvalho, Thermochemical Conversion Energy Laboratory
Scott Nichols, Tarm Biomass
Topic: Automated wood stoves with sensors that control the air intake and drastically reduce the possibility of operator error may change public opinion about the technology. New stoves can operate very well in a test lab but performance in the field is often poor at least for a substantial part of the burn cycle. This webinar features an American and a European expert on the potential of automation, how it works and what policies may support this up and coming technology.
Wood Stove Design Challenge
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