Biomass industry celebrates sixth annual Bioenergy Day

By Biomass Power Association | October 24, 2018

Today is the sixth annual Bioenergy Day, with events taking place from North Carolina to California and in many places in between. Bioenergy Day is an annual event when all involved in bioenergy—whether businesses, non-profits, government agencies or universities—recognize the economic and environmental contributions of bioenergy, a renewable energy source with many applications including power generation, heating, cooling and transportation fuels.

“Bioenergy Day would not be possible without the support of our partners and participants each year,” said Bob Cleaves, president and CEO of Biomass Power Association. “This year, we especially thank the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community for their generous contributions to our video, along with Heating the Midwest and the Rahr Corporation. The U.S. Forest Service has been a strong partner throughout the six years of Bioenergy Day.”

Each year, the Biomass Power Association, which organizes Bioenergy day, films a short video about the contributions of bioenergy to a community. This year, the video highlights Koda Energy, a combined-heat-and-power (CHP) biomass facility in Shakopee, Minnesota jointly owned by the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community and Rahr Corp. The facility uses as fuel barley leftovers from beer malt manufacturing, as well as oat hulls from General Mills’ Cheerios cereal production and urban wood waste from Minneapolis’ effort to stop the spread of the emerald ash borer. In addition to putting power on the electric grid, the facility supplies steam to the Rahr Corporation malting factory located next door.

“When our forests are managed sustainably, they can be a renewable energy source that keeps on giving,” said Julie Tucker, national lead for renewable wood energy at the U.S. Forest Service. “Communities have an extraordinary win-win opportunity to reduce wildfire risk by diverting millions of tons of forestry or wood products manufacturing leftovers to generate local renewable heating, cooling, or electricity.  Diverting these leftovers that typically have no markets to products like wood pellets dramatically improves local and regional air quality by avoiding open pile burning and additional wildfires.  Not only that, it creates rural jobs, reduces energy and wood waste disposal costs, gives communities ownership over their energy source, and supports sustainable forest management.”

Past videos have explored how bioenergy contributes to communities in Eagle Valley, Colorado; Northern Maine; the Central Valley of California; and Northwestern Montana.

See the full collection, as well as more information about Bioenergy Day, at www.bioenergyday.com.