Wisconsin program funds biomass boiler project

By Anna Austin
Web exclusive posted Jan. 9, 2009, at 9:42 a.m. CST

As traditional boiler systems become outdated and inefficient, most companies are looking for the most economical way possible to replace their plants' power systems. In Wisconsin, Focus on Energy's Renewable Energy Program provides financial assistance and incentives to businesses and residents to install cost-effective energy efficiencies, such as biomass boiler systems.

Recently, the organization awarded a $200,000 grant to Action Floor Systems LLC, a manufacturer and distributor of sport facility wood floors, to replace the company's natural gas-fired boiler and 50-year-old wood-fired boiler with a wood biomass boiler.

Provided by Lemoyne, Pa.-based AFS Energy systems, installation of the boiler system was recently completed. It's estimated that it will offset 658,000 therms of natural gas, or enough energy to heat 700 homes.

Sourcing a feedstock for Action Floor Systems' new boiler hasn't been an issue of concern, as the company is using residual waste leftover from the floor manufacturing process to power the system and meet the facility's space heating needs.

Karl Anderson, plant manager for Action Floor Systems, said the system helped the company comply with environmental codes, and will save the company a significant amount of money in operating costs down the road.

The overall project cost was just over $1 million, with a projected payback period of approximately three and a half years.

The project took less than a year to complete. A Focus On Energy spokeswoman said the time period from grant application to start-up was only nine months.

In addition to funding the Action Floor Systems project, Focus on Energy has provided funding for nearly 50 biomass-related energy projects in Wisconsin.

To learn more about Focus On Energy, visit www.focusonenergy.com.