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Trade News

Cost-share assistance for wood energy conversion

Two cost-share assistance grants offered by the Nebraska Forest
Service could result in significant utility savings for private,
for-profit and not-for-profit organizations.

Part of the
new TREES Heat Nebraska program, these grants are designed to help
establish woody biomass markets, specifically for heating and cooling
and for generating electricity. Funding originated from the Wildfire
Control Act of 2013, which calls for the development of markets for
woody biomass generated from forest thinnings.

that could benefit include municipalities, universities, colleges,
schools, hospitals, correctional facilities, livestock and agricultural
facilities and horticulture greenhouses.

“The grants will
help cover the upfront costs of installing wood-fueled energy systems,”
said Adam Smith, NFS forest products utilization team leader.
“Historically there has been a lack of capital assistance for the
development and installation of these energy systems, often derailing
potential projects. Utilizing these grants will allow organizations to
more quickly benefit from fuel savings – potentially realizing a 50
percent energy savings per month.”

The grants provide
cost-share funding for contractual services for the final design,
construction and installation of wood-fueled energy systems that
generate thermal or electrical energy, including the purchase of a
boiler system and equipment.

“Energy produced from wood
boilers currently heats two Nebraska colleges, the Arbor Day’s Lied
Lodge and Conference Center, many small manufacturing facilities, and is
used to dry and pelletize alfalfa for animal feed.” Smith said. “These
facilities experience significant utility savings over traditional
fossil fuel use.”

Two types of grant funding are available:

cost-share assistance to public, private, for-profit and not-for-profit
agencies or organizations located in Nebraska to purchase and install
woody energy systems, including the construction of new systems and the
renovation or expansion of existing energy systems;

cost-share assistance for contractual services for technical engineering
feasibility studies that investigate the potential for wood energy use.

encourages facilities to engage with NFS early in the project planning
process. Information is available at nfs.unl.edu/trees-heat-nebraska.
Applications must be received at NFS by Oct. 31.

Nebraska Forest Service, an affiliate of the University of Nebraska,
Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources, works to enrich lives by
protecting, restoring and using Nebraska’s tree and forest resources.
Information about the Nebraska Forest Service is available


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