Tri-state symposium on heating with biomass set in Illinois

By Chris Hanson | September 18, 2013

Biomass-derived heating is the subject of a tri-state symposium being hosted by the University of Illinois Extension, the University of Wisconsin Extension and Highland Community College in Freeport, Ill. on Oct. 24.

Speakers include Fred Lutzi, representative from the Illinois Institute for Rural Affairs, Timothy Baye, state energy specialist from the University of Wisconsin-Extension, and Jay Hayek, extension forestry specialist. Additionally, equipment suppliers and Illinois Biomass Working Group members will be featured at the symposium, along with discussions centered on market statistics and opportunities, reviewing feedstock availability and how they relate to the Midwestern biomass effort.

This is the first biomass event for the three campuses and was inspired by a similar conference in April.  The goal of the new seminar is for the biomass industry to gain momentum on the local level, said Stanley Solomon Jr., extension educator for University of Illinois Extension.

After the symposium, Solomon hoped to keep moving the biomass industry forward future events focusing on other aspects of the business. “I don’t plan this on being a one-shot at biomass and walk away from it,” Solomon said. Solomon added that he has not decided if these events are to become an annual occurrence as of yet. “If the appropriate thing is to do this thing again, we’ll do that.”

He hoped attendees would leave knowing that woody biomass is a viable option and an economic engine for the area. “Biomass is not just a passing trend, but has real future,” Solomon said. “We’ve got resources and end users that can benefit from it.”

The symposium will be held at Highland Community College in Freeport, Ill. and attendees receive a $5 discount for registering prior to Oct. 17. Interested parties may register here.