November 2016 Newsletter

Winter has finally arrived this week, as we have seen cold temperatures across the country!  This is a welcome sight to all those associated with renewable biomass heating and helps us build on the momentum of October’s Heating the Midwest event and National Bioenergy Day.  These were excellent events that focused on the social, environmental and economic benefits of heating with wood and other biomass sources.  Please see the important links in our newsletter for more updates.
The U.S. Forest Service also released a Wood Innovations funding opportunity for wood energy on October 19.  In this program, about $7 million will be available, and most awards (excluding match) will not exceed $250,000.  Eligible applicants include for-profits; State, local, and Tribal governments; school districts; communities; not-for-profit organizations; or special purpose districts.  Grant category 1 focuses on the Expansion of Wood Energy Markets and Wood Energy Products that stimulate, expand, or support wood energy markets that depend on forest residues or forest byproducts.  It also allows for applications focused on completing key requirements (engineering designs, cost analyses, & permitting) necessary in the later stages of wood energy project development to secure funding.  The proposal submission deadline is January 23, 2017.  This program should be considered by Heating the Midwest organizations to advance wood energy in the Midwest. The Wood Innovations Program Request for Proposals is available at

This program should be considered by Heating the Midwest organizations to advance wood energy in the Midwest.
Finally, as
we look to the Thanksgiving holiday, HTM is thankful for all of you and your continued support, contributions and commitment of HTM over the past years and going forward.  It is your involvement that has been instrumental in advancing the efforts of Heating the Midwest and growing awareness.  So, Thank you and Happy Thanksgiving!
HTM Steering Committee
In this Newsletter:

                Upcoming Survey – Your Input is Valued!

Please watch your email inbox for an upcoming survey being conducting on the last 2016 HTM Conference & Expo, and future planning.  Upon receipt, please take a moment to response as your insight and feedback is very important and valued as HTM plans for future events.  Thank you in advance!


Growing collection of Michigan case studies

Veteran’s Administration Medical Center, Battle Creek, MI
The VA Battle Creek built a wood chip fueled high pressure steam boiler to turn a turbine a produce about 2 mW of electricity. Excess steam is used for heat, reducing natural consumption by about 60 percent. The facility has about 35 buildings, about a million square feet, located on a 206 acre campus. The CHP system was commissioned in 2015.

This video is from the Arizona SWT and makes the important case between renewable wood energy (power and heat), healthy forest and regional economic development.

National Bioenergy Day activities
Learn more about National Bioenergy Day activities:

Issues discussed and observed during the 2016 Bioenergy Study Tour
Brent Bailey of the 25x’25 Alliance notes that a photo essay about the Study Tour is published in World Biomass and is available online at  (see pages 18-22 to read the essay).  Brent further adds that the World Biomass also includes an article by Bob Malmsheimer on the greenhouse gas benefits of US pellet exports to the UK.

Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin and Rep. Harold “Hal” Rogers, R-Ky., recently announced that the Harlan County Industrial Development Authority Inc. has received preliminary approval from the U.S. Office of Surface Mining and Reclamation Enforcement for a $2.52 million grant for an alternative energy manufacturing center in Harlan County, Kentucky.


Greenhouse Gas Impacts Study
Northern Forest Center website regarding a study commissioned by the Northern Forest Center of the greenhouse gas impacts of heating buildings with state-of-the-art wood pellet boilers. It states that The Spatial Informatics Group-Natural Assets Laboratory (SIG-NAL) used data specific to the region’s forest composition and harvest practices, and the pellet sourcing and manufacturing of 9 out of 10 Northern Forest pellet mills, all of which produce pellets exclusively for thermal (heat) generation. Following is additional information included in the article to give you a brief glimpse.  The full article is available at:
The life-cycle analysis, which accounts for all greenhouse gas emissions from sourcing, processing, and transporting fuels, finds that:
  • On day one, using wood pellets for heat reduces greenhouse gas emissions by 54% compared to oil and 59% to natural gas.
  • After 50 years, greenhouse gas emissions from pellets drop to 62% less than oil, 67% less than natural gas, and 56% less than propane.

Funding Opportunities
DOE Small Business Voucher Round 3 Open:
2017 Wood Innovations Program Request for Proposals:

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
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
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 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 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, 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