Business Briefs

By Staff | October 24, 2012

CRIBE grant supports pellet project
Northern Ontario’s Centre for Research and Innovation in the Bio-Economy announced it is providing $70,839 in funding to Atikokan Renewable Fuels to begin testing various natural additives to wood pellets to improve their performance in cooperation with Lakehead University. A separate $467,000 CRIBE grant will support the development of the Bio-Energy Learning and Research Centre in partnership with Confederation College. The facility will include a biomass fuel testing lab, demonstration space, and a 150 kW boiler dedicated to research and learning associated with emissions monitoring equipment.

Maryland launches pilot rebate program
The Maryland Energy Administration has launched a pilot program that offers a $400 rebate for new wood stoves and a $600 rebate for new pellet stoves. To qualify for the program, wood stoves must be U.S. EPA certified and emit no more than 3 grams of particulates per hour. Pellet stoves must also be certified, but can emit no more than 2 grams of particulates per hour. Rebates are only available for stoves purchased on or after Sept. 7. They can be purchased out of state, but must be installed in a Maryland residence. 

UK company offers biomass installer training
Schiedel Chimney Systems Ltd. announced that new Hetas approved biomass installer training courses, H005 and H005BR, are now available at the Schiedel Hetas Training Center. The H005 course covers the installation of log, pellet and chip appliances, offering a mix of theoretical and practical elements that enable installers to carry out feasibility studies and professionally advise clients on fuel type, storage options and system design. Successful completion of the course allows Hetas registrants to extend their registration categories to include installation of biomass appliances. The H005BR course is a foundation course for H005 that covers biomass building and regulations.

HM3 wins grant for briquette tests
The Oregon Built Environment and Sustainable Technologies Center awarded biomass torrefaction company HM3 Energy Inc. an $86,000 grant to support emissions testing of its torrefied biomass briquetting technology. The company began densifying torrefied biomass this fall with a 50,000 ton-per-year densification machine at its demonstration facility in Troutdale, Ore. The aim is to produce hydrophobic briquettes. The goal for the first test run is to produce briquettes that can withstand one-hour immersion in water. The company’s overall goal is to produce briquettes that can be immersed in water for up to 24 hours.

Community development entities fund pellet project
WNC & Associates Inc., Wells Fargo Bank N.A., Rural Development Partners and Coastal Enterprises have collaborated to provide The Westervelt Company with $55.5 million in new markets tax credit (NMTC) financing for the $71 million construction of a wood pellet plant in Aliceville, Ala. The NMTC program is designed to stimulate economic and community development in low-income communities. The facility is expected to generate more than $37 million in annual revenue. Westervelt will purchase feedstock for the facility from the local Southern Yellow Pine timber market. Construction on the project is underway, and is scheduled to be complete in mid-2013.

University considers cogeneration system
The USDA awarded a $250,000 grant to Southern Oregon University to conduct a feasibility study regarding the use of wood pellets, slash, forestry byproducts or other biomass fuel to generate heat and power for use on campus. The study will also confirm that the recommended system meets regulatory requirements set forth by the state’s Department of Environmental Quality and other state and federal agencies. The feasibility study could pave the way for the university to install a 1.2 MW combined-heat-and-power system capable of generating 100 percent of the campus’s power requirements and filling 70 percent of its heat requirement.