November 2015 Newsletter

Recent Changes
For those of us in the heating business, having temperatures in September being the second warmest on record according to NOAA ( is a less than wonderful sign. However, for those who see the benefits of locally grown, sustainably harvested renewable biomass resources, the future will always be growing and bright!

It is essential for us as industry members to constantly share the economic benefits of biomass heating fuels, even when they aren’t saving money or always price competitive. Locally grown and harvested resources keep people working and increase the economic and environmental health of our communities and their economies.Biomass heating fuels create clean and renewable energy using today’s modern, available, and improving technologies and processes. “Burning wood” of a century ago is not the “biomass combustion appliance” of today. We have an excellent story to tell and should be telling it often. Regardless of the short term challenges, we must keep our focus on the future, advocating and continuously looking for opportunities for projects that can benefit both our industry and the communities in which they are located.
Keep the torch high!HTM Chairs

HTM 5th Conference and Expo (Fall 2016)  – Opportunity to Lead
Are you ready to share your leadership and involvement in biomass thermal?  The 5th Annual Heating the Midwest Conference & Expo will be held in the fall of 2016 – and planning begins now!
We need your vision and energy to make next year’s event the best yet! We are holding monthly meetings, and we need a conference chair and a planning committee (location, program, tour, sponsors, outreach). For more information and to discuss how you can get involved, please contact Brian Brashaw, 218-626-4344 or

Biomass Project Ideas for SWET
If you know of biomass projects that would be a good fit for the WI, MN and/or the MI State Wood Energy Teams, please forward to Sabina Dhungana (WI) at; Mark Lindquist (MN) and/or Anna Dirkswager at or ; and Ray Miller (MI) at; respectively.

Biomass Thermal Photos Needed
The Heating the Midwest (HTM) Steering Committee is looking for biomass thermal photos for the HTM website.  If you have some that you are willing/able to share, please forward directly to Scott Bagley at:

Call for Your Midwest Biomass Stories and Events in December 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 or if you’d like to be on the list to receive upcoming newsletters, please send the update to

4th Annual HTM 2015 Conference Success.  Thank You, Minneapolis!
Thank you to the nearly 200 attendees of last month’s Heating the Midwest (HTM) Conference.  Unlike the previous three conferences, the 2015 event was collocated with the International Biomass Conference & Expo in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

The one day conference kicked-off on Monday, April 20th, with a discussion on overcoming obstacles to speed up the deployment of biomass thermal solutions.  Tony “T.J.” Morice, the newly appointed Co-Chair of HTM and Vice President of marketing, operations and business development of the Marth Companies, opened the conference by congratulating Brian Brashaw, former Director of the Wood Materials and Manufacturing Program, on his tenure as HTM Chairman.  Four presentation sessions followed, addressing topics like policy, project development case studies, combined heat and power, and financing.  The conference concluded Monday evening with a reception on the floor of the International Biomass Conference.

As reported by Katie Fletcher of Biomass Magazine, HTM began in 2011 by focusing on thermal energy and opportunities within the Midwest, especially locations without access to the natural gas grid. “We want to increase growth in biomass heating in the Midwest, but there are obstacles to overcome,” Morice said during his keynote. “Biomass heating projects need to be on the radar and the rural economic development focus needs to be understood.”

Conference presentations will be posted at soon.  Thanks again to the event sponsors and supporters for a new take on our annual event!

More Information

Special thanks to Katie Fletcher of BBI International for contributing content to this story.