This grant project will be funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), which was announced by USDA Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan on Monday, June 11. This project is among 30 wood-to-energy grants and biomass utilization projects funded at $57 million located in 14 states.
“These projects are in keeping with President Obama’s interest in innovative sources for energy and will promote the development of biofuels from wood and help private sector businesses establish renewable energy infrastructure,” said Merrigan. “Additionally, hazardous fuels reduction projects utilize biomass from forested lands that, when left untreated, increase wildland fire risks to communities and natural resources.”
The Trigg County Fuels for Community Health Facilities Project received $1,000,000 for renewable energy biomass utilization. ?The first phase of this energy conversion project will be for the Forest Service, county officials, and hospital administrators to work collaboratively identifying planning processes and creating a timeline for implementation. ?New jobs will be created over the next eighteen months to plan, design, and implement the project in this LBL gateway community.
Stan Humphries, Trigg County Judge-Executive, stated, “Our community is extremely pleased to learn we have been approved for this wood-to-energy grant. ?We look forward to implementing this energy conversion project to supplement the energy demand at Trigg County Hospital. ?We also appreciate the Forest Service staff at LBL for their service in our community and thank them for assistance with this request.”
“We look forward to working with our gateway community to implement this demonstration project with a combination of grants and partnership agreements and expect to have construction underway in 2010.” said Bill Lisowsky, LBL Area Supervisor.
These ARRA funds may help to create markets for small diameter wood and low value trees removed during forest restoration activities. ?The work will result in increased value of biomass, the removal of economic barriers for using small diameter trees and woody biomass, and the generation of renewable energy.
In addition, funds may help communities and entrepreneurs turn residues from forest restoration activities into marketable energy products.
(Information in this report was contributed by Kathy Harper, Land Between the Lakes media contact.)