Woody biomass energy options explored for facilities in region

The Watershed Agricultural Council (WAC) is currently seeking applications from public institutions and other facilities exceeding 50,000 square feet interested in exploring biomass-heating options for their building(s). Studies will evaluate the potential for meeting a facility’s energy needs with available by-products of the region’s forest products manufacturing and forest management activities. Selected applicants will receive a detailed assessment of the economic, environmental and technical feasibility of retrofitting or replacing an existing boiler system to accommodate wood as a renewable fuel option.
This initiative follows in the footsteps of other efforts underway in New York and neighboring states like Vermont, Massachusetts and Pennsylvania where public schools, hospitals and similar facilities are making the switch to locally grown, carbon-neutral fuels. By employing modern, automated and efficient wood heating technology, some of these facilities are saving two to three times the amount they would be paying for oil, propane, and/or natural gas.
Selected applicants will receive an “engineer for a day” visit from an experienced biomass energy contractor hired by WAC to conduct the assessment. Free of charge and with no obligation from participants, the engineer will survey their facility and heating system and prepare a written report, which will detail the technical and economic feasibility of integrating a biomass boiler system.
The average cost for each preliminary feasibility study of this kind is approximately $5,000 and total current funding available for these assessments is limited to $35,000.
Therefore, the council anticipates selecting several participants. Preference will be given to schools or other public buildings and institutions within a New York City Watershed county. The Watershed Agricultural Council must receive all project proposals no later than October 15 to be considered.
To receive the full application, please visit the WAC’s website at www.nyc watershed.org, or contact Collin Miller, wood utilization & marketing specialist at 607 865-7790 ext. 112 or send e-mail to: collinmiller@nycwatershed.org.