August 2016 Newsletter

 Showcase Your Biomass Project on National Bioenergy Day 2016!
Members of Heating the Midwest are invited to participate in the 4th annual National Bioenergy Day, on October 19, 2016. There are opportunities to get involved on the steering committee or by hosting a site tour, demonstration, or other event to showcase your biomass company or projects. To get involved with the steering committee or to learn more about hosting an event, contact Carrie Annand ( A guide to hosting a great biomass demonstration or tour on Bioenergy Day can be found here. Heating the Midwest’s Conference on Oct. 12 (one week before Bioenergy Day) will be advertised in conjunction with Bioenergy Day and National Forest Products Week (Oct. 16-22).
Ben Bell-Walker
In this Newsletter:

  • Program announced and registration 
    is now open for attendees, sponsors and exhibitors. Learn more here.
HTM 5th Conference & Expo (Fall 2016) – Still Time 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:
Heating the Midwest Conference & Expo Sponsors and Vendors 
Heating the Midwest continues to seek involvement of sponsors and vendors for the Heating the Midwest Conference on October 11-13, 2016 in Harris, MI! Please consider being a sponsor and/or a vendor for the conference. 
This is a great opportunity for you to:
  • Promote your company/business,
  • Gather recent information on the industry,
  • Expand your network contacts, and
  • Promote the use of wood biomass for thermal heating or processing needs or combined heat and power applications.
The many great benefits to sponsoring, depending on the level of sponsorship desired, are available for your consideration and viewing in the Sponsor/Vendor Agreement here.
Conference highlights include:
  • Preconference tour on October 11 visiting a wood boiler manufacturer, three wood heating installations and a logging site to show how wood biomass is being harvested.
  • Exciting and informative topics to engage in such as market barriers, selling in a low cost energy market, advances in combustion technology, using financial incentive programs and more will be covered during the conference.
  • Formal educational opportunities includes a two part technical workshop presented by John Siegenthaler on the System Design of Wood-based Heating Systems and Thermal Storage for Wood-based Heating Systems during the conference.
If you have already committed to being a sponsor – THANK YOU! If not, please consider sponsoring and positioning your company to take advantage of this market opportunity.  Additional details on how to sponsor are included here.
Please also help in promoting the conference by sharing this information with your dealers and potential customers. The technical sessions themselves should make the conference worth the trip!  The HTM conference flyer has all the details.

On behalf of the Heating the Midwest organizing committee, we very much appreciate your time and consideration.

Heating the Midwest Conference & Expo Co-Hosts
Consider becoming a co-host for the 5th Annual Heating the Midwest with Renewable Biomass Conference and Expo! The event brings together leaders in the biomass/thermal/renewable energy industry to discuss and formulate strategies for expanding the use of biomass in the Midwest. The program includes important regional topics and the expo provides opportunities to view equipment and meet new industry partners. This year’s conference will be held October 11-13, 2016, at the Island Resort and Casino in Harris, MI (near Escanaba).
How can you help?
Co-hosts agree to promote this year’s conference through website listing, newsletter articles and outreach to their constituents.
What do you receive for being a co-host?
  • A table top where you can display and promote your organization if you attend the conference.
  • We will promote and list your organization through many forms of media before, during and after the conference.
  • The early bird registration rate applies to you and any members of your organization regardless of when they sign up to attend.
  • Your organization will be recognized by a large audience with similar ambitions and interests.
We appreciate your consideration. More conference information can be found here:
Please contact Ann for more information or to sign up as a co-host- | 608-231-9506

Join Dovetail Partners at Biochar 2016
Opportunities for entrepreneurs, small business owners, and researchers
(Minneapolis, MN) – Join Dovetail Partners, a Minneapolis-based environmental think tank, at Biochar 2016  from August 22-25, 2016 at Oregon State University in Corvallis, OR.
Harry Groot, Associate with Dovetail Partners will be presenting  on the results of efforts to support biochar production capacities, including his own operations.  The presentation will look at the work of The Biochar Collaborative, including associated woody biomass utilization technologies they’re developing. The project has been supported through a grant awarded by the Wood Education and Resource Center, Northeastern Area State and Private Forestry, Forest Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Biochar 2016 is facilitated by the US Biochar Initiative and Sustainable Obtainable Solutions which aims to bring together stakeholders in the applied biochar research community and the private sector to further biochar market development.
Over the last several years, researchers have helped open up many promising avenues for biochar market development in North America. Likewise, many entrepreneurs and small business owners have made investments to develop commercial markets. As a result, there is a need to bring together these two groups to share information, lessons learned, and to solicit ideas on the pathway forward for biochar commercial development.
The event is designed for farmers, foresters, policymakers, biochar producers, industry professionals and entrepreneurs.  Students and interested citizens are also welcome.

International Training Seminar
Biomass Heating-Market development and technologies

View more information

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

View more information


National Forest Products Week 
October 16-22, 2016 is National Forest Products Week. To recognize the importance of products from our forests, the Congress, by Public Law 86-753 (36 U.S.C. 123), as amended, has designated the week beginning on the third Sunday in October of each year as “National Forest Products Week” and has authorized and requested the President to issue a proclamation in observance of this week each year.

Minnesota Department of Natural Resources installs WoodMaster Pellet Boiler
Minnesota’s Department of Natural Resources Tower Station recently completed construction

on a pellet boiler system. They are helping to reduce their carbon footprint by installing a WoodMaster Commercial Series pellet boiler.  The pellet boiler will displace the propane usage at the facility.

The WoodMaster CS130 boiler is located in a heat cabin that sits outside the main building. The boiler and all necessary components, including the control panel, are located inside the heat cabin.  Since the boiler is located remotely, the CS130 boiler supplies heat underground through distribution pipes to the DNR Tower area office facility.

Storm Debris will Fuel Power Plant
Out of sight, out of mind. That’s how many of us may feel after fallen trees and branches have been hauled away from our homes.
Pakou Ly, a spokeswoman for the city of Duluth, said most of it will be chipped and hauled, ton by ton, to Minnesota Power’s Hibbard Renewable Energy Center, where it will be used to generate steam for the neighboring Verso paper and recycling mills, as well as renewable energy for local electric customers.
The plant can consume up to 40 semitrailer loads of biomass fuel per day, said Amy Rutledge, manager of corporate communications for Minnesota Power and its parent company, Allete.

Bio-coal and super efficient, deployable homes seen at tour of NRRI Coleraine Lab
The mission of the University of Minnesota Duluth’s Natural Resources Research Institute (NRRI) is to “deliver research solutions to balance our economy, resources and environment for resilient communities.” On a recent Northeast CERTtour, participants were given a sneak peek at the innovative ways NRRI is fulfilling their mission in the realm of energy.
“We want to deliver solutions for resilient communities,” noted Director Rolf Weberg. “$18 billion dollars of energy costs goes out of Minnesota every year. We are looking at ways to chip away at that very large outgoing budget by using biomass energy.” Although there are many energy-themed studies being pursued by NRRI  (measuring the efficacy of three unique solar panel installations and testing a new wind turbine prototype were both mentioned), the tour focused on two projects: the production of bio-coal and the development of a quick-assembly, energy-efficient house.

See the NRRI presentation and read more about the tours here. 


Have Biomass Project Ideas for SWET?
Michigan Statewide Wood Energy Team
Contact: Ray Miller –
Minnesota Statewide Wood Energy Team
Contact: Mark Lindquist –
Wisconsin Statewide Wood Energy Team
Contact: Sabina Dhungana –
Free Publications
Biomass Magazine and Pellet Mill Magazine are free to subscribers in the USA.  Here’s link to sign up and there is also free e-newsletters, free webinars and more:

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 

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 or via phone at: (507) 537-6020. And for details pertaining to the Biomass Resources & Demographics Action Team, please contact Becky Philipp at or via phone at (218) 280-8575.
Call for Your Midwest Biomass Stories and Events for September 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  And, if you’d like to be on the list to receive upcoming newsletters, please contact Ashley Harguth at