June 2019 Newsletter

SAVE THE DATE – 2019 Heating the Midwest National Bioenergy Day Event!

PLEASE MARK YOUR CALENDARS! The Heating the Midwest (HTM) is pleased to announce that it will hold its annual conference in collaboration with Koda Energy and the Agricultural Utilization Research Institute’s Minnesota Renewable Energy Roundtable on National Bioenergy Day on October 23, 2019 in Shakopee, MN. The event will include a tour day of Koda Energy and Rahr Malting, St. Paul District Energy, and Len Busch Roses followed by an evening networking and award reception. This will be an exciting opportunity to see biomass thermal and CHP systems that are important solutions for using urban and other wood waste! Networking opportunities will abound during this event. Additional details are forthcoming. 
HTM Seeking Award Recommendations
This year, Heating the Midwest will be presenting two awards at the HTM conference event on October 23—a Biomass Thermal Leadership Award and a Biomass Thermal Project Award. Recommendations of companies and/or individuals for these awards are being sought.  Please submit recommendations to Tim Portz at timportz@gmail.com


In This Newsletter:

  • Letter Urges Congress to Make BTU Act Part of Tax Extenders Bill
  • DOE Seeks Members for the Biomass Research and Development Technical Advisory Committee
  • Feel Good About Wood Heat
  • Video – Think Shakopee Business: Koda Energy
  • Bulk Wood Pellet Delivery Systems
  • EPA Releases Long-Awaited Searchable Wood Heater List
  • Industry Publications
  • National Funding Opportunities
  • Minnesota Funding Opportunities
  • Social Media
  • Free Publications
  • Ideas for SWET
  • Become an Action Team Volunteer
  • Call for news

Letter Urges Congress to Make BTU Act Part of Tax Extenders Bill

The Biomass Thermal Energy Council and 140 members of the BTU Act Coalition are urging members of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives to include the Biomass Thermal Utilization Act of 2019 as they address tax extenders legislation.
The BTU Act  aims to amend the federal tax code to incentivize the use of energy efficient wood boilers, stoves and heaters through tax credits for capital costs incurred in residential and commercial installations. The bill provides for a 30 percent investment tax credit against installed capital cost for residential biomass heating installations and a 15 percent or 30 percent credit against installed capital cost for business installations, depending on the level of efficiency met by the system. The legislation was reintroduced in the House and Senate on Feb. 28. 
The BTEC and BTU Act Coalition sent letters to the House Ways and Means Committee and the Senate Finance Committee June 13. With the letter, the BTEC and BTU Act Coalition note similar legislation to the BTU Act of 2019 has been introduced during every session of Congress since 2009.
According to the letter, the bill would help strengthen American energy independence, address forest health and fuel hazard crises through the creation of new markets for low grade wood, lower greenhouse gas (GHG) emission, create jobs, and stimulate local economic development across America.
Read the full story here


DOE Seeks Members for the Biomass Research and Development Technical Advisory Committee

The U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy’s Bioenergy Technologies Office is soliciting nominations for candidates to fill vacancies on the Biomass Research and Development (BR&D) Technical Advisory Committee . The deadline for nominations is June 30, 2019.
The Technical Advisory Committee is made up of volunteers from industry, academia, nonprofits, and local government to:

  • Advise the Secretary of Energy and the Secretary of Agriculture on the technical focus and direction of requests for proposals issued under the BR&D initiative and on procedures for reviewing and evaluating the proposals
  • Facilitate consultations and partnerships among federal and state agencies, agricultural producers, industry, consumers, the research community, and other interested groups to carry out program activities relating to the BR&D initiative
  • Evaluate and perform strategic planning on program activities relating to the BR&D initiative.

Nominations for new members are needed for the following categories:

  1. Expertise in carbon dioxide capture, utilization, and sequestration
  2. Expertise in biofuels and biobased products
  3. Expertise in agronomy, crop science, or soil science.

Nominations for other bioenergy expertise will also be accepted. Potential members can be self-nominated or nominated by others. New members would begin their 3-year term in early 2020.
For more information, visit the Federal Register Notice .
Learn more about the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy on Facebookand follow Assistant Secretary Daniel Simmons on Twitter


Feel Good About Wood Heat

Readers of Pellet Mill Magazine may have heard about Feel Good Heat, a regional campaign aimed at raising consumer awareness about automated wood heat as an excellent alternative to fossil fuels. The Northern Forest Center has worked with dozens of stakeholders for longer than two years to develop and implement this collaborative effort to grow market demand for central, bulk-fed wood pellet heating systems. Now, we’re starting to look at creative ways to keep Feel Good Heat going for the long term.
So far, the campaign consists of digital marketing (Facebook and Google ads) and grassroots outreach that drive people to www.feelgoodheat.org, which offers clear, attractive information about automated wood heat—including an animated video showing the journey from forest to pellet mill, to delivery truck to home. The site links to vendors across northern New England, Massachusetts and New York. 
Companies and organizations that sign on as Feel Good Heat partners gain access to a suite of graphics and collateral, including logos, photos, signage, t-shirts and promotional items that they can incorporate into their own marketing and communications. Like any sustained marketing campaign (think “Got Milk?”), it takes lots of exposure in different formats and media to start sticking with consumers, so Feel Good Heat needs to reach as many people in as many ways as possible.
Read the full story here


Video – Think Shakopee Business: Koda Energy

Located just south of Rahr Malting, Koda Energy provides renewable and sustainable energy through the burning of biomass fuels. Learn more as Economic Development Coordinator Jenn Brewington takes you inside.
View the video here


Bulk Wood Pellet Delivery Systems

In order to effectively replace residential and small business fossil fuel use with renewable heating fuels, fuel delivery and system operation need to be about as seamless to the user as current fossil fuel systems.
Read Michigan Wood Energy’s vision here


EPA Releases Long-Awaited Searchable Wood Heater Database

The EPA released its long-awaited searchable stove and central heater database, overhauling a decades-old practice of using basic excel sheet lists. 
The EPA said the  new database  was designed to“improve accessibility and usefulness” by allowing users to search for the cleanest stoves, the most efficient stoves, those designed to burn cordwood and other attributes.
More information can be found here


Industry Publications

New Publication
Poultry-Barn-Heating-with-Wood-Energy
https://learningstore.uwex.edu/Poultry-Barn-Heating-with-Wood-Energy-P1898.aspx

Recent Publications:
https://learningstore.uwex.edu/How-to-Compare-Heating-Fuels-P1893.aspx
https://learningstore.uwex.edu/Tips-for-Buying-Drying-and-Storing-Firewood-P1891.aspx

Other publications:
https://learningstore.uwex.edu/Wood-Heating-Appliances-for-Homes-and-Businesses-P1718.aspx
https://learningstore.uwex.edu/Biomass-Energy-for-Heating-Greenhouses-P1454.aspx
https://learningstore.uwex.edu/Biomass-Heating-in-Greenhouses-Case-Studies-P1455.aspx


National Funding Opportunities

USDA’s Guaranteed Loan  provides up to 75% of project costs and is not competitive.DOE: No-cost technical assistance.The DOE Office of Indian Energy provides federally recognized Indian tribes with technical assistance to advance tribal energy projects at no cost.


Minnesota Funding Opportunities

MDA Biomass Thermal Energy Incentive Program . This is a production-based incentive and pays out based on heat generated by using mostly Minnesota-sourced biomass.


HTM has joined LinkedIn, Facebook & Twitter

Heating the Midwest Incorporated has created a LinkedIn page and also a Facebook page. Follow the page to stay up to date with what we’re working on! Also follow us on Twitter.
Click here to follow us on LinkedIn
Click here to follow us on Facebook
Follow us on Twitter @HTM_BiomassHeat


Free Publications

Biomass Magazine and Pellet Mill Magazine are free to subscribers in the USA. Here’s the link to sign up for the magazine and free e-newsletters, free webinars and more: 
http://www.biomassmagazine.com/pages/subscribe/
BTEC Newsletter : If you are interested in receiving the Biomass Thermal Energy Council’s weekly biomass newsletter and other news releases, you are encouraged to sign-up at:
http://biomassthermal.org/mailingForm.asp


Have Biomass Project Ideas for SWET?

Michigan Statewide Wood Energy Team
Contact: Ray Miller- rmiller@anr.msu.edu  
Website:  http://msue.anr.msu.edu/program/info/wood_energyWisconsin Statewide Wood Energy Team
Contact: Olivia Shanahan – PSC –  Olivia.Shanahan@wisconsin.gov
Website:  http://www.wisconsinwoodenergy.org/


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, Biomass Policy & Benefits, and Biomass Resources & Demographics. Is your time often stretched? No problem. Time committed to the HTM effort is volunteer time. Joint action team calls are held 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. 
Individuals with a passion for biomass thermal energy are being sought to lead the Biomass Resources & Demographics Action Team or the Biomass Combustion Technologies Action Team. This is a great opportunity to share your leadership skills in furthering the mission of HTM and to directly connect with the biomass industry sector and other agencies—all with a goal of growing market opportunities for biomass and specifically for biomass as a fuel for thermal heating and cooling, and combined heat and power. 
The work 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.  HTM Joint Action Team calls are held the >> Third Tuesday of each month at 1:30 p.m. CST <<. Separate action team calls are scheduled as needed.

CHANGE IN TIME FOR THE JULY HTM ACTION TEAM CALL: Please note that the July call of the HTM Action Teams will be held on Tuesday, July 16, at 9:00 a.m. CST.  We are also delighted that Maura Adams, Program Director for the Northern Forest Service, will be the guest speaker during the July monthly call. Maura will talk about the “Feel Good Heat” regional campaign aimed at raising consumer awareness about automated wood heat as an excellent alternative to fossil fuels. A link to details about the campaign follows:  https://feelgoodheat.org/ . A calendar invite to action team members with the time change noted is forthcoming.  Please contact Becky Philipp at bphilipp@auri.orgfor call details if you are not signed up as an action team member and would like to participate in the call. 

For more detailed information on the Biomass Policy & Benefits Action Team, please contact Gregg Mast ( Gregg_Mast@earthtechenergy.com ). Questions pertaining to the Biomass Resources & Demographics Action Team & the Biomass Combustion Technologies Action Team can be forwarded to the action team chair noted, or feel free to contact Becky Philipp ( bphilipp@auri.org ), steering committee member.


Call for Your Midwest Biomass Stories and Events for July 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 kloeffler@heatingthemidwest.org . And, if you’d like to be on the list to receive upcoming newsletters, please contact Kelsey Loeffler at kloeffler@heatingthemidwest.org