Submitted by Kara Lynn Dunn:
On July 15, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack announced the New York State Wood Energy Team, led by the Empire State Forestry Foundation with support from the New York Biomass Energy Alliance, as one of 11 teams receiving cooperative agreements from the USDA Forest Service.
In New York, the Forest Service funding of $250,000, which leverages additional state and private investment, will be used to develop and hold workshops to provide technical, financial and environmental information; offer preliminary engineering assessments; and conduct community outreach needed to support the development of wood energy projects.
Successful applications for projects will receive technical assistance to access additional financing for design and construction from the Forest Service, the USDA, and the New York State Green Bank, among other sources.
‘The investment from the Forest Service will allow for a substantial outreach and education campaign that will support the existing bioenergy industry and New York State programs, such as Renewable Heat NY, by raising awareness and understanding of this local, affordable, renewable source of energy,’ says Alice Brumbach, executive administrator of the New York Biomass Energy Alliance. ’
"The New York State Wood Energy Team of dedicated and talented individuals from across the state and region will be working very hard over the next three years to move bioenergy to a mainstream renewable energy option for New Yorkers," she said.
The New York State Wood Energy Team will begin its outreach and education campaign over the next few months in the Catskill Region, the North Country and the Southern Tier. Contact Alice Brumbach for more information on how you can become involved.
In addition to the Empire State Forestry Foundation and the New York Biomass Energy Alliance, the New York State Wood Energy Team consists of the Adirondack North Country Association, Catskill Forest Association, Clarkson University, Farm Credit East, Mesa Reduction Engineering & Processing, NYS Department of Environmental Conservation, Northern Forest Center, Richmond Energy Associates, Rick Handley & Associates, Southern Tier East Regional Planning Development Board, SUNY College of Environmental Science & Forestry, Tompkins County Cornell Cooperative Extension, and Yellow Wood Associates.
The advisory board to the New York State Wood Energy Team includes the New York Farm Viability Institute, NYS Department of Ag & Markets, NY Farm Bureau, New York State Wood Products Development Council, Finger Lakes National Forest, and USDA Forest Service.
To see the full list of states receiving Statewide Wood Energy Team cooperative agreements from the Forest Service, go to http://www.fs.fed.us/na/grants/index.shtml.