U.S. Forest Service Seeks Applications For Wood To Energy Projects

As part of the national observance of Earth Day, the U.S. Forest Service today announced that it is seeking proposals that expand wood energy use and support responsible forest management. Also today, the Forest Service released a Wood Energy Financial App for use by community and business leaders seeking to replace fossil fuel with wood […]

As part of the national observance of Earth Day, the U.S. Forest Service today announced that it is seeking proposals that expand wood energy use and support responsible forest management. Also today, the Forest Service released a Wood Energy Financial App for use by community and business leaders seeking to replace fossil fuel with wood energy.

“USDA through the Forest Service is supporting development of wood energy projects that promote sound forest management, expand regional economies, and create new jobs,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. “These efforts, part of the Obama Administration’s ‘all of the above’ energy strategy, create opportunities for wood energy products to enter the marketplace.”

“Building stronger markets for innovative wood products supports sustainable forestry, reduces wildfire risk, and creates energy savings for rural America,” said Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell.

The U.S. Forest Service published in the Federal Register the announcement of requests for proposals under the Hazardous Fuels Wood-to-Energy Grant program. The program will provide about $2.8 million to help successful applicants complete the engineering design work needed to apply for public or private loans for construction and long-term financing of wood energy facilities. In addition, the agency announced $1.7 million in funding availability under the Statewide Wood Energy Team cooperative agreement program inviting public-private teams to seek funding to advance wood energy. Activities may include workshops that provide technical, financial and environmental information, preliminary engineering assessments, and community outreach needed to support development of wood energy projects.

Since 2005, more than 150 Wood-to-Energy grants have been awarded to small businesses, non-profits, Tribes, and State and local agencies to improve forest health, while creating jobs, green energy, and healthy communities. This year, the Wood-to-Energy grant program encourages geographic or sector-based clusters, such as hospitals, prisons, or school campuses, to leverage project similarities to improve economies of scale and expand the use of woody biomass for energy.

From The USDA: http://www.usda.gov/wps/portal/usda/usdahome?contentid=2014/04/0070.xml&navid=NEWS_RELEASE&navtype=RT&parentnav=LATEST_RELEASES&edeployment_action=retrievecontent

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