Wisconsin launches bioenergy grant program
In an effort to generate jobs, build a market for fire hazard reduction materials and assist businesses to become energy independent, the U.S. Forest Service Wood Education Resource Center and the Wisconsin Office of Energy Independence have announced a grant opportunity for public and private facilities across the state wanting to convert old fossil-fueled boilers into woody biomass boilers.
Currently seeking applicants, the OEI describes an ideal candidate as having an older coal, propane or heating oil boiler, and must be located in one of the 42 Wisconsin counties identified by the U.S. Forest Service as within a fire hazard reduction zone, mostly counties north of State Highway 60.
The program will be implemented in two stages: six applicants will be chosen for free feasibility studies in stage one, and up to three will be selected for actual project construction in stage two, accompanied by a cash grant of up to $200,000. A 50 percent cost share is required.
Applications may be submitted until Jan. 31. Up to six projects will be selected for free feasibility analysis by Feb. 28, and the final candidates will be selected for additional awards on or before June 30. The goal is to complete the conversion projects within two years.
To download an application, visit http://www.energyindependence.wi.gov/.