Coast Guard to explore pellet potential in Alaska

By Staff | October 24, 2012

The U.S. Coast Guard is working to reduce the heating costs of its larger Alaskan facilities. The effort is focused on converting from heating oil to wood pellets. The Coast Guard recently signed an interagency agreement with the U.S. Forest Service to support its goal and other forest product and renewable energy initiatives.

Under the agreement, Coast Guard engineer and biomass export Robert Derring and USFS wood biomass and stewardship program manager Dan Parrent will work with the USDA’s Southeast Alaska forest products and renewable energy workgroups, the Alaska Division of Forestry, Alaska Southeast Conference and the Alaska Energy Authority. Work completed under the agreement will focus on developing a strategy and action plant to convert to biomass. The group will also identify deficiencies in the regional logistics and production supply chains.

Wood pellet use by Coast Guard facilities has the potential to create a large commercial demand, which would provide an anchor client for wood pellets, enabling further development of the pellet industry in southeast Alaska.