What is the Minnesota Statewide Wood Energy Team?
The Minnesota Statewide Wood Energy Team (MN SWET) 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 team was developed in 2014 to help Minnesota facilities and businesses move toward realizing the opportunity to cut costs, support local economies, and advance clean energy development. The MN SWET is one of five teams being supported by the USDA Forest Service around the country. With support from the USDA Forest Service, the team's 2014 programs include making funds available to support businesses and other facilities that are interested in commercially available wood energy systems. Details about the funding opportunities and application process are forthcoming. Eligibility requirements will include commercial applications of modern wood energy technologies and project development beyond the initial feasibility investigations.
Who is Involved in the MN SWET?
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 the Minnesota DNR.