Minnesota college to install biomass boiler

By Staff | August 15, 2014

Itasca Community College in Grand Rapids, Minnesota, is upgrading its boiler system to use locally sourced wood fuel. The college hopes the project will serve as a case study for other heating districts of its size.

Over the past several years, the college and its partners, which include the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources and the Swedish Bioenergy Association, have been investigating using wood fuel.  “There are a few reasons why we think that’s important, but one of the main ones is that we live in a region of the U.S. where the forest products industry has a history of being prevalent, but it is in a declining state,” said Bart Johnson, project manager.

With a $112,000 grant from the Legislative-Citizen Commission on Minnesota Resources and nearly $1 million in state bonds, the college launched a request for proposals design and bid documents in June. The goal is to have the new biomass system installed next year, but the project could take until 2016 to complete.