Biomass projects receive funds

By Ron Kotrba
Many different U.S. and Canadian biomass-related projects received funding from governments or private organizations recently.

In Wisconsin, the state Focus on Energy's Renewable Energy Program awarded a $200,000 grant to Action Floor Systems LLC, maker and distributor of wood floors such as basketball courts, to replace its natural-gas-fired boiler and old wood boiler with a new wood-fired biomass boiler. Installation, provided by Pennsylvania-based AFS Energy Systems Division Inc., was recently completed. The company uses wood waste from its floor manufacturing business as boiler fuel.

The Energy Harvest program and Alternative Fuels Incentive Grant program contributed $7.2 million and $6.5 million, respectively, in grants to five biomass projects in Pennsylvania. Southern Alleghenies Conservancy Inc., on behalf of Pleasant View Farms, will receive $480,479 for an anaerobic digester and electrical generation systems. The Indiana County Conservation District will receive $46,950 to increase capacity of the Brookside Diary anaerobic digester from 80 to 107 kilowatts. The Lackawanna River Basin Sewer Authority will receive $397,961 for two 65-kilowatt micro-turbines to produce electricity from unused anaerobic digestion gas at a wastewater treatment facility. Glendale School District will receive $350,000 for a biomass boiler, and the Snyder County Conservation District will receive $61,356 on behalf of Windview Farm for a manure-combustion, hot-water boiler for poultry barn heating.

In Colorado, New Energy Economic Development grants were dispersed through the state Clean Energy Fund. The city of Greeley received $82,489 to perform a feasibility study of the development of a clean energy park that would employ anaerobic digestion, taking in food and ag-processing wastes from businesses in the Western Sugar Tax Increment
Financing District. The Colorado Brownfields Foundation received $25,000 to model the use of multiple renewable energy technologies, including biogas generation, from an old landfill in Colorado Springs. The Greater Arkansas River Nature Association and The Global Biomass Network Project Inc., two Salida, Colo.-based organizations, received $100,000 in matching funds to develop a gasification project at the Chaffee County landfill.

The Maine Technology Institute awarded $20,750 in grants for pellet projects, including $12,000 to X Café LLC, which is seeking to pellet leftover coffee grinds from its roasting and extraction facility in Portland, Maine. Thermal Closure LLC received $8,750 to develop a new method of drying wood prior to pelletizing the material.

In Canada, the Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry Community Futures Development Corp. will receive $63,000 under the regional development component of the Eastern Ontario Development Program for a pilot project to produce pellets from agricultural residues and switchgrass for use as industrial boiler fuel. In addition, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada is investing $116,375 to research ways that farmers can convert crop residues such as straw into new uses such as fire logs.