National Bioenergy Day events held nationwide

By Anna Simet | October 22, 2014

On and around Oct. 22, nearly 50 coordinated events in the U.S. and Canada are celebrating the second annual National Bioenergy Day.

Events feature collaborations by the U.S. Forest Service, local or state governments, universities and bioenergy businesses in the surrounding areas.

This year, New York has planned the most statewide events at nearly a dozen, and kicked off its National Bioenergy Day 2014 series with a SUNY Morrisville Harvesting Day Demo that included four live demonstrations of harvesting processing equipment and educational sessions on equipment upgrades.

On Oct. 22, the public was offered a tour of SUNY-ESF's wood pellet-fired combined-heat-and-power system, which is among the first in the nation, as well as a discussion of the state’s $27 million Renewable Heat NY Program

On Oct. 23, the New York Forestry Resource Center will offer a tour of a wood pellet boiler, residential high efficiency/low emissions cord wood boiler demonstration and a screening of Community Biomass Energy Film in Rensselaer, New York, which will be followed by a residential pellet heating open house in Ithaca on Oct. 25.

New York’s events will conclude with a renewable energy project signing ceremony hosted by the U.S. Army at Fort Drum, in order to acknowledge the largest renewable energy project in the history of the U.S. Army. Effective Nov. 1, the ReEnergy Black River biomass-to-electricity facility will provide 100 percent of Fort Drum's electricity needs, enhancing energy security at the post.

A full list of events can be found here.

Biomass Power Association CEO Bob Cleaves said the organization, which coordinates the now-annual event, looks forward to continuing the tradition. “It’s important for us to rally together to dispel the many myths about bioenergy that persist, and also to demonstrate the considerable positive effects of bioenergy on the environment and local economies,” he said.

Tim Portz, executive editor of Biomass Magazine, reiterated Cleaves’s comments regarding dispelling bioenergy myths and unveiling truths. “The importance of getting as many stakeholders as possible to actual, operating bioenergy facilities cannot be overstated,” he said. “To fully understand how bioenergy fits into the broader ag, forestry and energy sectors, you simply have to see it.”

Portz added that it has been an interesting day to watch social media channels. “This industry’s skeptics and doubters are out there and active, and it is vital that the industry continues to raise its collective voice,” he said.

Joseph Seymour, executive director of the Biomass Thermal Energy Council, also stressed the importance of National Bioenergy Day. “We see tremendous value in coordinated events like NBD that bring public officials and potential adopters into contact with real-world, commercialized biomass heating systems and their operators,” he said. “. “The 2014 NBD made great advancements from the year prior, and we look forward to building on that success in the upcoming years.  Also, I wanted to extend my thanks to Carrie Annand of the BPA and the staff of the USFS for their leadership and vision for National Bioenergy Day 2014.”   

Check back to BiomassMagazine.com for on-site coverage of the USDA Forest Services’ National Bioenergy Day Open House in Walker, Minnesota, which included a tour of the office’s new, energy-efficient station that includes a wood pellet boiler system.