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Woody Biomass Projects Receive $4.2 Million in USDA Grants
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) awarded $4.2 million on Monday to 18 small enterprises that will use the money to develop innovative products and renewable energy from woody biomass from national forests. Although many of the recipients are forest products companies, funds were also awarded to the Cawaco Resource Conservation & Development Council, Inc., which is planning a project to co-fire biomass with coal in the Gadsden Steam Plant in Alabama; Big Valley Power, a biomass power plant in Redding, California; the Montana Community Development Corporation, which has been experimenting with using wood waste from logging operations to fuel a boiler at a paper mill; Nevada's Lake Tahoe Unified School District, which plans to fuel a cogeneration system with biomass fuel; Mt. Taylor Machine, a New Mexico company that makes fuel for pellet stoves; and the town of Red River, New Mexico, which plans to ship wood chips from forest thinning to a biomass power plant. According to the USDA, the grant program improves forest health and reduces the risk of wildfires by removing built-up fuel hazards. See the USDA press release.