3rd Annual Heating the Midwest Conference to Host Biomass Energy Leaders


Event to be held in Green Bay, Wisconsin from April 30-May 1, 2014

(St. Paul, MN) - The 3rd Annual Heating the Midwest Conference will be held from April 30th to May 1st, 2014 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. Keynote speakers will include regional and national leaders in biomass energy.

"Each year, this event brings together leaders of the woody and agricultural biomass industry," said Brian Brashaw, Program Director for the University of Minnesota Duluth, Natural Resources Research Institute and Chair of the Heating the Midwest Steering Committee. "The businesses and organizations that come together are interested in supporting and expanding the use of biomass for heat and power in the region."


Keynote speakers confirmed for the conference include, Scott Nichols, President of Tarm Biomass who will address Midwest Biomass Thermal Energy: Opportunities and Challenges Ahead. Tarm Biomass is based in New Hampshire and deals in the latest wood energy thermal technologies. With two decades of experience, they report that their heating systems have helped homeowners and businesses avoid nearly 190,000 tons of carbon dioxide emissions and saved more than 16 million gallons of heating oil.


"Tarm Biomass imports and distributes wood, wood pellet, and wood chip boilers," said Nichols. "We are focused on wood as a means for energy independence, rural economic strength, and forest stewardship."


Dan Wilson, Chairman of the Biomass Thermal Energy Council and Vice-President of Wilson Engineering Services will address Effective Strategies to Increase Biomass Thermal in the Midwest. Josh Kaurich, Division Manager of H & H Energy Management will speak about Biomass Energy Assessment and Integration Opportunities.


Wilson Engineering Services has assisted organizations throughout the Midwest with evaluations of biomass energy operations, including financial feasibility as well as engineering studies. H & H Energy Management is based in Madison, Wisconsin and provides comprehensive services, ranging from energy auditing to installation.


There will also be pre-conference tours of local biomass energy systems. The tours on April 29th will include Greenwood Energy, a biomass pellet producer in Green Bay; Marth Companies in Peshtigo, a pellet producer with a biomass heating system; and Krueger Lumber in Valders which has a biomass heated facility and dry-kiln system as part of a hardwood sawmill.


"There is a history in the region of innovative use of biomass as an important source of renewable energy," said Anna Dirkswager, Biomass Coordinator for the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources and manager of the Statewide Wood Energy Team. "Many private and public organizations have been using biomass energy for decades and today's modern and high-efficiency technologies offer a next generation of opportunities."


Minnesota's Statewide Wood Energy Team launched in 2014 and has been developed to help Minnesota facilities and businesses move toward realizing the opportunity to cut costs, support local economies, and advance clean energy development. The Statewide Wood Energy Team is also participating in the Heating the Midwest Conference.


"Today's wood energy technologies reduce energy costs while creating local jobs, mitigating wildfire risks, and providing renewable energy," said Lissa Pawlisch, Director of the Clean Energy Resource Teams (CERTs) and member of the Statewide Wood Energy Team.


The Heating the Midwest conference will be held at the Radisson Hotel and Conference Center, located in Green Bay, Wisconsin from April 30th - May 1st, 2014. For registration, program & exhibitor information: www.heatingthemidwest.org.



About the Minnesota Statewide Wood Energy Team

The Minnesota Statewide Wood Energy Team consists of individuals and organizations that work together to advance woody biomass goals and recognize the need to promote woody biomass utilization as a strategy to accomplish: forest management, diversified markets for the existing forest products industry, forest wildfire risk reduction, economic development and localized wealth retention, and state renewable energy strategies. The core team includes representation from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, University of Minnesota, University of Minnesota Duluth, Natural Resources Research Institute, and the USDA Forest Service Wood Education and Resource Center, the Clean Energy Resource Teams, Dovetail Partners, and the Headwaters and Arrowhead Regional Economic Development Commissions. Additional partners include the Minnesota Department of Commerce, Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development, Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation Board, USDA Rural Development, Minnesota Forest Resources Council, Great Plains Institute, BioBusiness Alliance of Minnesota, FVB Energy, WoodMaster, Fond du Lac Band of Superior Chippewa, and the Agricultural Utilization and Research Institute. The project manager is Minnesota DNR Biomass Coordinator, Anna Dirkswager.


About Heating the Midwest

Heating the Midwest (HTM) is a group of volunteers with a serious interest in growing awareness and usage of biomass thermal fuel for heat in the Midwest. The HTM mission is: "To advance biomass thermal heating in the Midwest for a more sustainable future, while improving the economic, environmental and social well-being of the region."Driven and directed by a Steering Committee, Heating the Midwest includes industry, government, non-profit organizations, university representatives and tribal representatives. It is an efficient group of biomass advocates working to promote biomass to a larger constituency, including government policy makers and entities, consumers and businesses in the Midwest.