U.S. Forest Service awards US$3.92M to small businesses, community groups, tribes for renewable wood energy projects to help boost regional economies

WASHINGTON, D.C. , July 26, 2012 (press release) – Projects funded in Mont., Calif., Vt., Alaska, Idaho, Ore., NH, Colo., Ga., Va., Wash., Kan., Utah

The U.S. Forest Service today announced the award of nearly $4 million in grants for wood energy projects around the country to help expand regional economies and create new jobs.

The grants, totaling $3.92 million, will be distributed to 20 small businesses, community groups and tribes to develop renewable energy projects that require engineering services.

The projects will use woody material such as beetle-killed trees removed from forests to aid in wildfire prevention. The material will then be processed in bioenergy facilities to produce green energy for heating and electricity. The awardees will use funds from the Woody Biomass Utilization Grant program to secure the engineering services necessary for final design, permitting and cost analysis.

“The Forest Service works in more than 7,000 communities across the country to support projects that provide green jobs and boost local economies,” said USDA Deputy Under Secretary Butch Blazer. “These grants continue our legacy of improving access to affordable energy for rural schools, community centers, universities and small businesses.”

The grant program helps applicants complete the necessary design work needed to secure public or private investment for construction. Examples of projects include the engineering design of a woody biomass boiler for steam at a sawmill, a non-pressurized hot water system for a hospital or school and a biomass-power generation facility.

The Forest Service selected 20 small businesses and community groups as grant recipients for these awards in 2012. According to the requirements, all 21 recipients provided at least 20 percent of the total project cost. Non-federal matching funds total nearly $8 million.


2012 Woody Biomass Utilization Grantees

California Department of Forestry, Sacramento, Calif.
$124,875

City of Montpelier, Montpelier, Vt.
$248,556

City of Nulato, Nulato, Alaska
$40,420

Clearwater Soil and Water Conservation District, Orofino, Idaho
$110,000

Coquille Economic Development Corporation, North Bend, Ore.
$145,000

County of Sullivan New Hampshire, Newport, N.H.
$250,000

Evergreen Clean Energy, Gypsum, Colo.
$250,000

F.H. Stoltze Land and Lumber Company, Columbia Falls, Mont.
$250,000

Greenway Renewable Power LLC LaGrange, Ga.
$250,000

Longwood University, Farmville, Va.
$250,000

Mineral Community Hospital, Superior Mont.
$190,000

Nippon Paper Industries USA Co. Ltd, Port Angeles, Wash.
$250,000

Oregon Military Department, Salem, Ore.
$250,000

Plumas Rural Services, Quincy, Calif.
$70,125

Port Angeles Hardwood LLC Port Angeles, Wash.
$250,000

Quinault Indian Nation, Taholah, Wash.
$205,000

Riley County Schools, Riley, Kan.
$90,000

Sanpete Valley Clean Energy LLC, Salem, Utah
$250,000

Southern Oregon University, Ashland, Ore.
$250,000

Yosemite/Sequoia Resource Conservation and Development Council, North Fork, Calif.
$134,225


The Forest Service Woody Biomass Utilization grant program has been in effect since 2005 and has provided more than $36 million toward various projects, ranging from biomass boilers for schools to helping businesses acquire equipment that improves processing efficiencies. During this time period, over 150 grants have been awarded to small businesses, non-profits, tribes and local state agencies.

The Forest Service's State and Private Forestry, Technology Marketing Unit, at the agency's Forest Products Laboratory in Madison, Wis., administers the grant program. The recipients were chosen from 34 applications.

The mission of the U.S. Forest Service is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of the nation's forests and grasslands to meet the needs of present and future generations. Recreational activities on our lands contribute $14.5 billion annually to the U.S. economy. The agency manages 193 million acres of public land, provides assistance to state and private landowners, and maintains the largest forestry research organization in the world.

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