Pennsylvania awards biomass energy project funding

By Ryan C. Christiansen
Web exclusive posted Oct. 24, 2008 at 10:53 a.m. CST

The Pennsylvania Energy Development Authority has approved more than $2.2 million in Alternative Energy Investment Fund grants to develop and expand biomass energy-related operations in Pennsylvania.

American Refining & Biochemical Inc. of McKean County, Pa., has been awarded $1 million to build a facility that will annually convert up to 180,000 tons of biomass into more than 60,000 tons of a coal-like product worth1.2 million British thermal unites (Btu) of energy. The facility will be built on a brownfield site.

First Nation Wood Pellets LLC of Cambria County, Pa., has been awarded $500,000 to build a wood pellet manufacturing plant that will produce 78,000 tons of wood pellets per year.

Three entities have been awarded funding to burn biomass for energy. The Benton Area School District in Columbia County, Pa., was granted $350,000 for boiler housing and a piping system to complete a biomass-fed boiler that will provide an estimated 80 percent of the district's heating requirement. Nydree Flooring LLC in Clearfield County, Pa., will receive $269,801 to replace a fuel oil-powered steam system with a biomass-powered system that will consume 600 tons of waste wood annually. IntelliWatt Renewable Energy of Northumberland County, Pa., was awarded $150,000 to develop a 12-megawatt biomass-fed power generation facility.

The grants approved by the Pennsylvania Energy Development Authority totaled $2,269,801.