PSU Helping Communities Decide on Woody Biomass Energy Options

December 23rd, 2010 by Adam

New Hampshire communities have a new tool to help decide if energy from woody biomass is the right energy choice for them.

The Community Roadmap to Renewable Woody Biomass Energy, developed by a partnership led by the North Country Resource Conservation and Development Area, helps a community or group systematically work through an information gathering and decision-making process to assess whether a woody biomass energy project is an appropriate option.

Woody biomass, or woody organic material, a by-product of forest management such as wood chips or pellets, is already used as an energy source in a number of locations throughout the state. The State Capitol and other downtown buildings in Concord are heated by biomass. New Hampshire also has seven wood-to-energy generating facilities producing the equivalent of 6% of the state’s electrical needs.

“In a state that is 84% forested, the opportunity to expand the use of New Hampshire’s local and renewable energy source is tremendous”, said U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen, who serves on the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources. “Communities can save money by heating with wood and keeping energy dollars in the local economy.”

The Roadmap document is designed to provide a step-by-step process for communities to learn about, gather information about and record data about existing and potential heating systems. The publication includes worksheets, which can be filled out electronically or with paper and pencil.

Other partners in the Roadmap project include Plymouth State University, Coös County Economic Development Corporation, the Northern Forest Center, the Bethlehem Energy Committee, UNH Cooperative Extension, and numerous individuals. The project was funded through the New Hampshire Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (managed by the NH Public Utilities Commission), and the U.S. Department of Energy. Yellow Wood Associates of St Albans, Vermont, and the Biomass Energy Resource Center of Montpelier, Vermont, were contracted to work under the direction of the collaborative working group. Copies of the Roadmap are available at the North Country RC&D website and the PSU Center for Rural Partnerships

For more information about this release, contact Bruce Lyndes, PSU Media Relations Mgr., (603) 535-2775 or