North Country marks bioenergy day

LYONSDALE — The North Country Regional Economic Development Council, bioenergy generators, woody biomass and switchgrass crop producers and processors, trade associations, and universities celebrated the first-ever National Bioenergy Day on Thursday with a harvesting demonstration, a host of college programs, and industry-only tours at three sites.

"The first National Bioenergy Day is an opportunity to educate the public about the value of bioenergy powered by wood and agricultural crops in terms of environmental sustainability and renewable jobs and revenue for rural economies," said Alice Brumbach, New York Biomass Energy Alliance Executive Administrator,

In addition to consumer awareness, Brumbach says the nationwide event was also intended to inspire legislative support for the bioenergy industry. Activities in Washington, DC, will recognize local events across the U.S.

Among the local events to recognize Bioenergy Day were activities at Agens Farm in Boonville, and a boiler system demonstration at South Lewis Central Schools.

The Shrub Willow Biomass Harvest Demonstration was held at Agens Farm, 7453 East Ava Road in Boonville. The demonstration was managed by biomass energy supplier Celtic Energy Farm, and the project is a collaboration by the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry and ReEnergy Holdings.

The New York Biomass Energy Alliance hosted an invitation-only tour of the South Lewis Central School District Woodchip Biomass Boiler System that saves the district $100,000-$110,000/year in costs; a tour of the ReEnergy Lyonsdale 22-megawatt facility uses biomass as its primary fuel to produce enough electricity to supply approximately 21,000 homes; and a tour of the New England Wood Pellet plant, the largest pellet manufacturer in the NE US with the capacity for 85,000 tons of pellets/year in Frankfort.

The New York Biomass Energy Alliance is a coalition of individuals, businesses, and organizations working together to enhance support, understanding and use of sustainably produced farm and forest biomass as a source of renewable energy. The Alliance serves as a sounding board for both entrepreneurs and public officials.

Sponsors and supporters of National Bioenergy Day include the New York Biomass Energy Alliance, Clarkson University, American Council on Renewable Energy, National Association of State Foresters, Biomass Power Association, Pellet Fuels Institute, Forest Landowners, Biomass Thermal Energy Council, and other groups and associations.

To learn more about bioenergy or the various events at www.newyorkbiomass.org.