June 2017 Newsletter

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.

Chuck Gagner
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
  • FREE webinar
  • Wood Stove Design Challenge
  • LinkedIn
  • Free Publications
  • Ideas for SWET
  • Become an Action Team Volunteer
  • Call for news

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.

Funding Opportunities??

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 (bphilipp@auri.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.

Register: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/8938771531938759169

Wood Stove Design Challenge

The Alliance for Green Heat has annouced the fourth Wood Stove Design Challenge, returning to the National Mall in Washington, DC in November 2018.
The event will be free and open to the public and includes rigorous testing of the next generation of technology that can make wood stoves consistently cleaner, more efficient, easier to use and, like solar energy, a renewable source of electricity.
Read full article here.

HTM has joined LinkedIn

Heating the Midwest Incorporated has created a LinkedIn page. Follow the page to stay up to date with what we’re working on!

Click here to follow us.

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:  http://biomassthermal.org/mailingForm.asp

Have Biomass Project Ideas for SWET?

Michigan Statewide Wood Energy Team
Contact: Ray Miller- rmiller@anr.msu.edu
Minnesota Statewide Wood Energy Team
Contact: Mark Lindquist-  mark.lindquist@state.mn.us
Wisconsin Statewide Wood Energy Team
Contact: Olivia Shanahan – PSC – Olivia.Shanahan@wisconsin.gov

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
Biomass 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 Action Team, please contact Andrew Murray ( andrew.treeguy@gmail.com); for the Biomass Policy & Benefits Action Team, please contact Marcus Grubbs ( marcus.a.grubbs@gmail.com); 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 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