Oregon lands grant for wood energy cluster
By Christina Williams
Sustainable Business Oregon editor
Oregon is getting a boost in its efforts to create wood energy clusters from a U.S. Forest Service grant announced this week.
Gov. John Kitzhaber announced Thursday that Oregon won the nation's first-ever grant to support a wood-energy cluster, a pilot project that will be developed with the U.S. Forest Service.
The $168,000 Forest Service grant will support a pilot project focused on developing biomass energy projects that will use waste from forest-thinning efforts to provide heat and power at schools, commercial buildings and mills.
The grant comes on the heels of the release of a draft biomass strategy plan for Oregon, completed by the state's Forest Biomass Working Group. That plan, released for public comment this week, placed an emphasis on the potential for wood energy clusters around the state.
"This project will help develop biomass energy clusters in our rural communities that save money, support forest restoration, and create jobs," said Gov. Kitzhaber, in a statement. "This project not only creates additional renewable energy opportunities, it supports forest health restoration and job creation. It’s exactly the type of cross cutting approach Oregon needs."
The Oregon Department of Energy, Sustainable Northwest, the Bureau of Land Management, Oregon Department of Forestry, Oregon's economic development department and other groups will help administer the grant.
Oregon is the first state tapped by the Forest Service to pilot a wood energy cluster strategy.
If you are commenting using a Facebook account, your profile information may be displayed with your comment depending on your privacy settings. By leaving the 'Post to Facebook' box selected, your comment will be published to your Facebook profile in addition to the space below.