Wash. DNR offers training for biomass calculator tool

By Erin Voegele | September 12, 2013

The Washington State Department of Natural Resources has announced it will hold four technical workshops on how to use the web-based Washington State Biomass Calculator in October. The workshops, held in partnership with the University of Washington’s School of Environmental and Forest Sciences, are open to members of the public.

According to information released by the DNR, the calculator tool is useful for those interested in developing biomass facilities, and for landowners in the state who are interested in supplying woody biomass to bioenergy facilities.

The calculator was developed by researchers at UW SEFS in collaboration with TSS Consultants last year. According to information published by the DNR, the calculator tool resulted from a study published by UW and TSS Consultants that focused on the sustainable volume of residual biomass that can be collected from the state’s forests. The calculator that was developed following that study essentially serves as a tool for those interested in locating biomass projects within Washington State.

 Users input appropriate data into the calculator, and it reports on the availability of three types of biomass, including scattered biomass, roadside biomass and market biomass. The tool allows users to select from several biomass harvest models, the appropriate geography for a location, define the facilities in the region, select for the cost of biomass, and apply trucking restrictions.

The first workshop will in Olympia on Oct. 1. The second is planned for Everett on Oct. 3. The Oct. 9 workshop will be held in Spokane, followed by a workshop in Ellensburg on Oct. 10.

Additional information on the events can be found on the DNR website.