(top of page)
Elements of a Good Project
is a versatile energy option that can work in various scales and in a variety of applications
including heating, cooling, and electricity generation—alone or in combination.
are available at all scales, including:
manual-fed cordwood furnaces
pellet-fired boilers starting at 100,000 BTUs/hr
wood chip systems starting at 1 million BTUs/hr
combined heat and power (CHP)
of biomass boiler systems within the Fuels for Schools and Beyond program range
from a 600,000 BTU/hr pellet system at Townsend
Schools, Montana to a
12 million BTU/hr wood-chip fired system University of Montana-Western, Dillon, Montana.
of a Good Project back to
are a few things that can make a facility well suited for biomass energy:
- High heat demand and high fossil fuel
if a facility is not using at least 2,500 dekatherms/year of natural gas or
spending at least $35,000 annually on heating fuel (natural gas, propane,
fuel oil) they won’t be likely candidates for conversion. However,
there are exceptions if installing very small furnace systems.
- Proximity to a wood fuel source can be important
in that generally, the closer the supply, the cheaper the fuel. A
haul distance from a forest source of 30-50 air miles (est. 50-80 road
miles) can generally keep costs of wood fuel reasonable. Other biomass fuel sources can include wood pellets,
sawmill residues and municipal wood waste such as clean demolition waste
and urban trees which may be nearby.
- Space available for the biomass
burner, fuel storage, and access for delivery trucks.
- It’s more cost-effective to install a
biomass boiler system in the new construction of a facility compared
to integrating it into an existing system.
- A simple payback on investment within 10
years is desirable.
- Enthusiasm of the facility staff and community
Feasibility Assessments back to
Your state program may offer funding or assistance for biomass energy feasibility assessments.
Contact your State Program Coordinator
Boiler Financial Feasibility Analysis
interactive spreadsheet program that allows facilities or consultants to input
facility specific data into the spreadsheet and receive an output of a
preliminary feasibility assessment. Developed by Bob Govett at the U of
and download the User’s Manual
Heating Systems Guide Tim Maker, Biomass Energy
Resource Center (BERC)
Pellet Heating Guide Massachusetts Division of Energy Resources
Where Wood Works Flexible Energy Communities Initiative