Michigan Biomass is a coalition that advocates for the state's grid-connected, wood-fired power plants – facilities constructed between 1985 and 1994. It was formed in 2007 to ensure that the biomass power industry would continue to contribute to the state's energy, resource and economic wellbeing under renewable energy policy.
About 16% of the state's renewable energy comes from forest-based, sustainable resources, mostly byproducts from wood products manufacturing. Because these power plants predate Michigan's RPS they are affected differently by the growing renewable energy marketplace. The intrinsic values of biomass power – jobs and rural economies, low-value wood fiber markets, forest health and stewardship, mitigation of greenhouse gases that contribute to climate change, and support of the state's electricity transmission system – warrant energy policy that preserves the production capacity and non-energy values these facilities provide.
Much of our work is associated with the forest products industry and the resources that supply biomass fuels. Michigan Biomass is a member of, or partners with:
It also serves on:
Gary Melow is the director Michigan Biomass, a role he's played since inception of the coalition in 2008. In that capacity he works to promote the benefits of biomass power, engaging in community outreach, stakeholder collaboration and governmental affairs.
Mr. Melow has worked in the biomass power industry since 1999, serving nine years as the director of human relations for the owner/operator of biomass plants in Michigan, the U.S. and Canada, and state projects coordinator the Biomass Power Association, a national trade group.
He sits on the Governor’s Timber Advisory Council and chairs the Forest Management Advisory Committee for the Michigan Department of Natural Resources.
Prior to entering the biomass power industry, Mr. Melow worked in human resources development and administration for a Michigan automotive supplier, and spent more than 10 years in print media and publishing. He holds a bachelor's degree in journalism from Central Michigan University.