USDA Awards $3 Million For Woody Biomass

A U.S. Forest Service award of nearly $3 million in Woody Biomass Utilization Grants went to 17 small businesses and community groups on June 22 for the development of wood-to-energy projects, according to U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack.  Each of these projects requires engineering services, which will help expand regional economies and create new jobs. […]

A U.S. Forest Service award of nearly $3 million in Woody Biomass Utilization Grants went to 17 small businesses and community groups on June 22 for the development of wood-to-energy projects, according to U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack.  Each of these projects requires engineering services, which will help expand regional economies and create new jobs.

These projects utilize processed woody biomass removed from forests during projects such as wildfire prevention to produce green energy for heating and electricity. The funds from the grants will be used to further the planning of building and operating bioenergy facilities by funding the necessary engineering services for final design, permitting and cost analysis.

The 17 recipients, chosen from 34 applications, were required to provide at least 20% of their total project cost. The grant program helps recipients complete the necessary design work needed to secure public or private investment for such projects as the engineering design of a woody biomass boiler for steam at a sawmill, a non-pressurized hot water system for a hospital or school, or a biomass-power generation facility.

“Biomass is a vital part of America’s clean energy future as we work to decrease our dependence on foreign oil. Projects like these will help grow regional economies, create new jobs, and improve and protect our environment. We will need architects and engineers to design these plants, skilled laborers to build them and well-trained technicians to operate them,” commented Vilsack.

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