May 2016 Newsletter

A Message from Heating the Midwest Executive Committee

The Heating the Midwest Steering Committee is pleased to announce the core program for the 5th annual Heating the Midwest Conference and Expo, which will be October 11-13, 2016 in Michigan’s Eastern Upper Peninsula.   This year’s event, “Adopting Renewable Biomass Heat: Investing in Tomorrow’s Sustainable Communities,” will feature keynote speakers and panels that will highlight the economic, environmental and social benefits to the use of biomass for heat and combined heat and power in the Midwest.  The Biomass Heating Expo will contain industry leaders, showcasing their abilities to support the industry through heating systems, fuels, and other services.  This year’s general session speakers will focus on Breaking Biomass Heating Market Barriers and Defeating the Biomass Blues.  Keynote speakers Maura Adams, Program Manager for the Northern Forest Center and Charlie Niebling, Innovative Natural Resource Solutions, will share compelling successes on the regional impacts of advanced wood heat, and highlight the significant progress made in this sector.  Breakout sessions will highlight heating and CHP success stories, identify values beyond BTUs and highlight strategies for incentivizing and financing the future.  Finally, in an effort to support biomass installation, industry veteran John Siegenthaler will present two workshops for system designers and installers, System Design for Wood-based Biomass Heating Systems and Thermal Storage for Wood-based Biomass Heating Systems.

I am proud of the impacts that the annual Heating the Midwest events have had on the Midwest, and am sure this year will grow this industry even more.
Brian Brashaw
USDA Forest Service, Forest Products Marketing Unit

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:
2016 Illinois Renewable Energy Conference
The Illinois Renewable Energy Confernce is to be held July 21, 2016.  This event is organized by Illinois Biomass Working Group & multiple other partners.  Additional details can be viewed at the following link:
International Training Seminar
Biomass Heating-Market development and technologies
Round for a Reason announces patent for combustion chamber
Round for a Reason announces patent for combustion chamberSouth Dakota-based Round for a Reason LLC has received a patent, U.S. Patent No. 9,182,116, for a new combustion chamber concept, known an Efficient Solid Fuel Burning Appliance. The ESFBA is a vertical cylinder combustion chamber that burns solid biomass fuels. When compared to similarly shaped appliances, the ESFBA features a stronger cylinder shape, increased internal pressure, more efficient heat distribution and a smaller footprint. The combustion chamber allows for many feedstocks and applications, including forced air furnaces, boilers, free-standing stoves, and indoor or outdoor placement.
Source:  Biomass Magazine, Business Briefs By Erin Voegele | January 27, 2016
Register Today for an Amazing Opportunity!
Register for a 10 Week Hydronic-Based Biomass Heating Systems Course.
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 at the 27th Annual Energy Fair
Heating the Midwest will be at the 27th Annual Energy Fair, June 17-19, 2016 in Custer, Wisconsin.
Nominations Needed
The Department of Energy is seeking nominations for the Biomass Research and Development Technical Advisory Committee.The deadline is June 30, 2016.
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.
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 –
Call for Your Midwest Biomass Stories and Events for June 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