Woody biomass energy database upgrade, expanded

By U.S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities | April 18, 2013

In 2010, the U.S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities (Endowment) announced creation of a one-of-a-kind database of industrial and selected community-scale users of wood-to-energy facilities across North America. The Endowment recently unveiled major improvements in the database.  The site—www.wood2energy.org—is a searchable database open to anyone with interest in the state of wood-to-energy conversion at a national, state/provincial or local operating level.

Through the Woody Biomass Joint Venture—a partnership between the USDA Forest Service and the Endowment—recent updates to the Wood2Energy database ensure that it serves as the most comprehensive and up-to-date source of users and processors of wood for energy, e.g., electric facilities, thermal installations, pellet mills, etc.

Partners though out the biomass industry as well as state and federal agencies have worked to improve the usability and accuracy of the database and recently began including thermal installations, such as schools and government offices.

The University of Tennessee Office of Bioenergy Programs created and currently houses the system with original funding from the Endowment, US Forest Service, American Forest and Paper Association, Canadian Forest Service of Natural Resources Canada, Forest Products Association of Canada, and many others.

“We now have reviewed and updated for accuracy more than half of the existing U.S. facilities.  The systems will only get better as people share information and their experience with accessing the system,” Wood2Energy Project Manager Mladen Grbovic said.

“This type of information is vital to making sound planning and business decisions for expansion of wood as an energy source while protecting sustainability of North America’s rich forested estate,” Carlton Owen, the Endowment president, said,

Biomass consultant, Eric Kingsley of Innovative Natural Resource Solutions in Maine, worked with the University of Tennessee team to improve the accessibility of the site and the quality and accuracy of information across fourteen northeastern states. He added, “The new user interface is much easier to work with.”