New York council to fund heating system conversions

By Kris Bevill
Web exclusive posted August 14, 2008 at 4:04 p.m. CST

New York's Watershed Agricultural Council is looking for interested businesses or public institutions in its region to apply for funding to convert their heating systems to biomass-based systems.

There are eight counties in the New York City watershed region. Any business or public institution occupying a space of at least 50,000 square feet is eligible to apply for the program, but preference will be given to applicants located in watershed region counties. A budget of $35,000 is being made available for the project.

The council made the decision to support the project following the success of similar Northeastern projects that have helped to convert heating systems to run on locally-grown woody biomass.

Selected applicants will receive an "engineer for the day" who will conduct a feasibility study to outline both the technical and economic feasibility of integrating a biomass boiler system into the applicant's building. Each feasibility report, valued at $5,000, will include: estimated costs for system installation, projected savings, estimated amount of biomass to be used annually, economic viability of the new system, potential feedstock contractors, estimated availability and accessibility to feedstock supply, and the project's economic impact on the community.

The New York Watershed Agricultural Council anticipates awarding several recipients with funding through the program. Applicants must submit the completed application to the council by Oct. 15. A complete application can be found at