Honing in on Pellets

By Anna Simet | September 04, 2012

In the world of monthly magazines, it’s already fall. Fall to Biomass Magazine means full-swing production of Pellet Mill Magazine, which is now in its fourth bi-annual issue. If you have any stake in the fuel pellet industry and you don’t yet receive it, you’re definitely missing out. It’s free to Biomass Magazine subscribers (which is also free).

What are we covering this time around? Well, a lot changes in six months—technologically, politically, economically and researchwise—so we’re doing our best to cover it all. Here are a couple of examples of what to expect:

In an article authored by myself, I’ll explore New Hampshire’s inclusion of renewable thermal in its renewable portfolio standard, the first state to grant it full credit. I’ll provide history on how the legislation was crafted and passed, how it will positively affect pellet projects/producers, and why other states are considering following suit. Charlie Niebling, general manager of New England Wood Pellet and chairman of the Biomass Thermal Energy Council, was able to thoroughly discuss with me the bill and its implications. Just to mention one interesting point he made, while biomass electrical renewable energy credits (RECs) are capped at nearly double the maximum value of biomass thermal  (which doesn’t seem fair when you don’t think about it) he was quick to point out that biomass thermal has much higher efficiencies.

Niebling also gave me some examples of who will benefit from this change, which includes hospitals or jails using wood pellets or wood chips for heat. Such a facility can now sell the RECs it earns to utilities that are mandated to own so many each year, and this can lead to a much quicker project payback and a revenue stream for the life of the system.

For staff-written features, you can also expect a couple articles authored by Luke Geiver, one of which will delve into pellet producer standards.

Moving on to external contributions, this issue will include perspective from one of the industry’s most innovative complete system design/engineer/manufacture/installation firms for the mechanical pretreatment and processing of the raw feedstock used to produce pellets. It’s still a work in progress, but they tell me it involves large-scale pellet production for export.

I think that’s an adequate sneak peak. The fall issue of Pellet Mill Magazine goes to print in mid-October. Click here to subscribe.