The US Department of Agriculture has announced the New York State Wood Energy Team is 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," said 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," Brumbach added.
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. The team is urging interested parties to contact Alice Brumbach, New York Biomass Energy Alliance, 607-316-3437, 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.