Heating the Midwest announces official mission

By Heating the Midwest | November 01, 2011

Heating the Midwest, a newly-formed biomass thermal advocacy group, has announced its official structure, mission and intent. The group represents industry, government, non-profit, university and tribal organizations that have a vested interest in growing awareness and usage of woody and agricultural biomass (i.e. pellets, wood, and agricultural residues) and dedicated energy crops for heating and combined heat and power in the Midwest.

 Following a successful initial summit meeting at Black Bear Casino Resort on the Fond du Lac Reservation in Carlton, Minn., on February 9, 2011, Heating the Midwest mobilized by forming a steering committee, developing a mission and holding regularly-scheduled meetings. A growing network of more than 50 Midwest organizations, HTM works to promote biomass to a larger constituency, including government policy makers and entities, consumers and businesses. The group’s mission is “To advance biomass thermal heating in the Midwest for a more sustainable future, while improving the economic, environmental and social well-being of the region.”

 The Heating the Midwest Steering Committee has formed Action Teams to focus on specific initiatives related to its mission. The five teams are as follows: Demographics, led by Mike Curci of Indeck Energy; Biomass Resources, led by Becky Philipp and Alan Doering of Agricultural Utilization Research Institute; Benefits and Consequences, led by Chris Wiberg of Timber Products Inspection/Biomass Energy Laboratory; Biomass Combustion Technology, led by T.J. Morice of Marth Wood Shaving Supply, Inc.; and Policy, led by Pam Porter of Biomass Energy Resource Center’s Midwest office, and Dr. Dennis Becker of the University of Minnesota.

 The Heating the Midwest Steering Committee is making plans for the first annual “Heating the Midwest with Renewable Biomass” conference and expo in the spring of 2012. The conference will be similar in content to the annual Biomass Heating Expo organized by the Northeast Biomass Thermal Working Group.

Heating the Midwest welcomes involvement and participation from individuals and groups who are interested in growing awareness and usage of biomass thermal fuel in the Midwest. Sign up for email updates at www.heatingthemidwest.org and contact any Steering Committee member listed on the site.