October 2015 Newsletter

Recent Changes
It was in the 40’s in Wisconsin today so we know the heatingseason is upon us. Despite the drop in LP prices, there is something intrinsically valuable to us as Americans to be independent of typical pathways. Even in years like this when savings is at a minimum, knowing we’ve limited our risk and maximized our local control gives us comfort. That’s what biomass heating does, providing local energy, competitive/beneficial economics all with a environmentally friendly and renewable fuel. We at Heating the Midwest love to have your involvement and insights as it relates to this industry so please plug in and involve yourself where you can on our Action Teams and Conference coordination as the future unfolds. Those in the transition states, enjoy the Fall colors!
Tony “T.J.” Morice
Chair of HTM
HTM 5th Conference and Expo (Spring 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 spring of 2016 – and planning begins now!
We need your vision and energy to make next year’s event the best yet! 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 bbrashaw@fs.fed.us.
Upcoming Steering Committee Meeting
Wednesday, October 14th – 9:30 AM ET (8:30 AM CT)
Call in: #712-432-0111
Code: 342583
Upcoming Planning Committee Meeting
Call in: #712-432-0111
Code: 342583
*Please email Vera Medici (vmedici@ttcorp.com) or Dayanita Ramesh (dramesh@ttcorp.com) if you’d like to participate in the HTM Planning Committee!
The Future of Biopower under the Clean Power Plan (CPP) Webinar
October 6, 12:00 – 1:15 pm ET, hosted by 25×25
On August 3, 2015, the White House announced the highly anticipated Clean Power Plan (CPP). States have since begun the process of developing State Implementation Plans with the goal of attaining the emission reduction goals established in the CPP. Other states are seeking to fight the restrictions imposed by the CPP.
Despite the many rules and requirements established by the CPP, there remain many questions about how the CPP will account for systems that generate thermal energy and electricity from biomass. Which biomass-based technologies qualify for credits and allowances under the CPP is still the subject of much debate. Certain types of “non-zero emitting” technologies, including “Qualified Biomass,” defined as “a biomass feedstock that is demonstrated as a method to control increases of CO2 levels in the atmosphere” may join “zero-emitting technologies” in qualifying for credits and allowances. But as with other EPA bioenergy rules, nothing is straightforward and the multiple veils of uncertainly which surround the latest guidance make their interpretation extremely difficult. As a result, the future of biopower in the U.S. remains uncertain.
To help 25x’25 partners and others get up to speed on the CPP and the road ahead for future growth in biopower generation, we have invited the following partners to offer their perspectives:
  • Bob Cleaves, President of the Biomass Power Association;
  • Maeve Mason, Manager of Regulation and SIP Management Section of the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control; and,
  • Zia Haq, Senior Analyst at the U.S. Department of Energy.
The webinar on The Future of Biopower in the Clean Power Plan >> will be on October 6th2015 from 12:00pm-1:15pm ET. Please sign up for the webinar here >> by October 5th 2015. The webinar is open to the first 100 registrants. We look forward to having you join us as we discuss the implications of the CPP on current and future biopower production systems.

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 Sabina.Dhungana@wisconsin.gov; Mark Lindquist (MN) and/or Anna Dirkswager at mark.lindquiest@state.mn.us or anna.dirkswager@state.mn.us ; and Ray Miller (MI) at rmiller@anr.msu.edu; 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: emscott.bagley@gmail.com.

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 jstronberg@ttcorp.com.

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 HeatingtheMidwest.org 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.