[NEWS] Two Alaska Communities Receive $1.65 Million Forest Service Grants for Biomass
– by Jillian Rogers, May 20, 2016, KHNS
Haines is one of just two Alaska communities to be awarded large wood-innovation grants from the U.S. Forest Service. The other is the Hydaburg School District.
The Haines Borough will get $250,000 to use toward expanding a wood energy, or biomass, heating system.
According to a Forest Service release, 77 applications were received nationwide with 42 grants awarded after a competitive process.
The quarter-million-dollar boost will go toward the design of a wood-fueled district system that could eventually heat the school, pool and other public facilities.
The project would potentially help the borough go from burning of 80,000 gallons of heating fuel per year, and save as much as $3 million over the life of the project, according to the release. Other local benefits of biomass, according the Service, is the reduction in carbon dioxide emissions of nearly 1.8 million pounds per year.
The borough acquired three refurbished Coast Guard boilers late last year as part of the project. The systems use pellets or wood chips to fuel boilers as an earth-friendly, locally sustainable alternative, or addition, to oil-burning furnaces.