Massachusetts awards $2.89 million to support biomass heating

By Erin Voegele | February 19, 2019

The Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources recently awarded nearly $2.89 million in grants to five infrastructure projects that aim to increase the availability of low-carbon, renewable heating fuels, including wood chips and biofuels.

The grants, funded by MDER, are part of the Renewable Thermal Infrastructure Grant Program, an initiative focused on expanding the availability of renewable thermal technologies in Massachusetts. Funding for the grants is available through Alternative Compliance Payments paid by retail electric suppliers that did not meet their Alternative Portfolio Standard compliance obligations through the purchase of Alternative Energy Certificates.

The awards include:

Caluwe Inc.—$426,035:  Funding awarded to Burlington, Massachusetts-based Caluwe will be used to build a showroom storage warehouse in western Massachusetts and purchase a service vehicle. The project will also include the full testing and certification of several European wood chip boilers and related emission control devices to U.S. EPA and UL standards.

Dunlap’s Energy—$225,250: Funding awarded to Plymouth, Massachusetts-based Dunlap’s Energy will be used to build a mixing tank that precisely blends renewable biofuel with conventional heating fuels.

Holiday Farm Inc.—$1 million: Funding awarded to Dalton, Massachusetts-based Holiday Farm will be used to purchase equipment to process, handle, store and deliver dried wood chips. The project will include the purchase of two trucks that can pneumatically deliver dried wood chips.

Pantermehl Land Clearing Inc.—$350,000: Funding awarded to Ashfield, Massachusetts-based Pantermehl Land Clearing will be used to purchase a large format chipper, live-floor trailer and chip screen, to allow for the creation and bulk delivery of dried woodchips. The project also includes a 65 by 80 foot chip storage building and accompanying asphalt pad.

Wagner Wood—$885,000: Funding awarded to Amherst, Massachusetts-based Wagner Wood will be used to purchase equipment to process, handle, store and deliver dried woodchips. The project includes the purchase of a chip trailer designed to pneumatically deliver dried woodchips into residential or commercial fuel storage silos.

According to the MDER, grant awardees are required to match at least 50 percent of project costs. As a result, the awards will result in approximately $6 million of infrastructure upgrades.