Well-Rounded Issue

Touching All The Bases

This month Wood Bioenergy presents a well-rounded and information-packed issue that covers all facets of the wood-to-energy industry, from stump to megawatt to BTU to biofuel. The feature articles included reflect wood bioenergy business and operating issues in the Northwest, Southeast and Northeast U.S.—and also articles on new energy management systems and industry events.

The cover story is from Fort Drum, NY, where ReEnergy is operating its third power-producing facility in the state, acquired in 2011. Operating under the framework of New York’s REPS, ReEnergy has converted a former coal-fired power plant to biomass fuel while increasing operating efficiency and reducing environmental impact along the way.

Located on the Fort Drum Army post, ReEnergy’s Black River facility faces operating parameters over and above normal operating requirements. The company has also implemented an innovative procurement program that provides a stable raw material supply and has earned the first-ever Sustainable Forestry Initiative sustainability certification given to a power plant.

A continent away in remote central Oregon, longtime lumber producer Ochoco Lumber has found success in a pellet mill at subsidiary Malheur Lumber Co. in John Day that gives the company more diversified products and markets to target.

Situated more than 100 miles from the nearest significant log or fiber markets, the pellet operation has a symbiotic relationship with the nearby Malheur National Forest, which has thousands of acres of overstocked and stressed timber stands needing thinning and understory removal operations that aren’t viable without a local purchaser. The new pellet mill fills that role, and operators have an interesting story to tell in starting up new product lines and developing local and regional markets.

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From Left: David (DK) Knight, Co-Publisher/Executive Editor; David Abbott, Senior Associate Editor; Dan Shell, Western Editor; Jessica Johnson, Associate Editor; Rich Donnell, Editor-in-Chief

Meanwhile back in the Southeast, a chipping contractor in South Carolina went into business with BCAP as a big part of the company plan only to see the controversial program halted months later. The loss of BCAP knocked a hole in revenue projections that forced owner Josh Key to double production and work harder to find his own timber.

Along the way, Key has worked to diversify his markets, developing relationships and earning a contract to haul to Ameresco’s new power generation facility at a DOE site in Aiken, SC. Additional outlets include other biomass customers and a paper mill. Key now works with two full-time chipping crews and has fully completed the transition from roundwood logging to fuel wood chipping.

That covers power generation, pellet manufacturing and fuel wood production, but what about biofuels? That’s in this month’s “In The News” section, where you can find out about the richest man in the United States deciding to invest in biofuel pioneer KiOR.

But that’s not all: To learn more about this industry than any one issue could ever deliver, make plans to visit the 2014 Bioenergy Fuels & Products Conference & Expo March 18-19 in Atlanta, Ga. Registration is open, and keynoters announced. Find out more on page 14.

Now that’s a well-rounded issue.