From:                                   Michigan Biomass <> on behalf of Michigan Biomass <>

Sent:                                    Monday, November 21, 2016 4:49 PM


Subject:                                Power of Wood Nov 2016


News & information on everything biomass — forest resources, habitat & environment, state & national energy topics.

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We have a winner!

Mark Shaull of Oregon was the winner of Michigan Biomass' National Bioenergy Day prize drawing, taking home a cell phone charger and a six-pack of LED light bulbs. Congratulations Mark and thanks for participating in our event!

The Michigan Biomass prize giveaway was one of 51 events around the U.S. and in Canada to promote biomass power as a significant source of renewable energy in Michigan and around the country. It aids forest resources, helps manage wood waste, and supports jobs and rural economies.

Get the whole story on biomass at our website or to learn about and it's important role around the country. Watch the excellent video. It's a good story!

Biomass on the air

Grayling Generating Station got air time in October on the Northern Focus radio show with Blarneystone Broadcasting's Q100.3 FM in Grayling.

Power plant manager Keith Welcher joined Tim Neff from AJD Forest Products, and Gary Melow, director of Michigan Biomass, to share with listeners the story of how biomass power generation directly impacts Crawford Co. and the surrounding area.

The 17-minute segment can be heard at Q100.3 podcasts. Pick the Oct. 14 edition and fast forward to the 15:48 mark.

The program was a highlight of National Bioenergy Day on October 19 that included nationwide events to promote the beneficial roles biomass plays in the U.S. energy mix.

U.P. biomass plant sold

L'Anse Warden Electric, a biomass plant in Baraga County, has been sold to a Wisconsin energy company.

Convergen Energy, formerly known as Greenwood Fuels, bought the facility from Traxys Energy Group for an undisclosed sum, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

LWE is an 18-megawatt plant that uses wood, railroad ties and tire-derived fuel to generate electricity and thermal energy. It recently received a renewed operating permit from the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality after a process of hearings and emission stack tests.

Energy bills leave Senate, calls on MISO plan

A pair of energy reform bills were voted out of the Michigan Senate on Nov. 10. The bills still have to make it through the house, where their future is less clear.

If enacted, SB 437 would create an integrated resource planning process (IRP) to direct decision-makers to the "most" reasonable and prudent outcomes to ensure an affordable and reliable power supply for Michigan consumers. It ensures generators with 225 MW of capacity have standing in the process so all generation, transmission, distribution and energy efficiency options are considered. 

Key changes the bills would effect include increasing the renewable portfolio standard from 10% to 15% percent, but ending in 2021 and being replaced by a 35% voluntary, combined renewable/efficiency "goal" by 2025.

SB 438 grandfathers current net metering customers, typically solar panels, for up to 10 years, while new systems would qualify as "distributed energy" systems in a new program, which has a different rate structure that includes a "grid charge" to recovered certain fixed costs from those customers.

The 10% customer choice cap remains with some modifications, and the bill puts capacity and resource adequacy requirements on alternative energy suppliers.Those provisions, at the center of the customer choice discussions, depend on Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) approval of a plan from the Mid-Continent Independent System Operator (MISO) that sets up a new capacity auction.

MISO filed its forward resource auction (FRA) plan with the FERC earlier this month. It  would allow regulators in competitive electric markets like Michigan to opt out of the FRA and establish its own capacity pricing system.

If enacted, SB 437 would adopt that plan for how Michigan will require its electrical providers meet their capacity reliability requirements. The new plan has a three-year planning horizon as compared to the current one-year program where electric providers can buy generation capacity to meet their reliability requirements.

Get the details at MISO


Old tires are good for clean energy
yes, really!

Do you know what happens to your old tires when you buy new ones?

Years ago they likely ended up in a pile with millions of other worn-out tires, littering the landscape, breeding disease-carrying mosquitoes, and presenting an uncontrolled fire hazard. Burning piles of tires can go on for days and create tons of air pollution.

Not any more. Michigan's biomass plants — and power plants around the country — use it as a remarkably clean supplement to wood fuel.

Yes, scrap tires make energy from biomass EVEN CLEANER!

Scrap tires blended up to 10% with wood makes for a cleaner, more efficiently burning fuel that reduces particulate matter and other air emissions.

Tires are tough and durable. That's great for motorist safety and budgets, but it makes them impossible to bury. So, Michigan and most other states ban them from landfills.

Scrap tires are managed and regulated by by the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality. It's recent report shows Michigan's biomass plants consumed more than 6 million scrap tires in 2015: that's 75% of the estimated 8 million tires that Michigan motorists dispose of each year and more than half of the tires cleaned up and processed under the state's Scrap Tire Management Program.

Nationally, 117 million tires were used for fuel in 2015, according to a Rubber Manufacturers Association (RMA) report.

Energy rich scrap tire chips, called tire-derived fuel (TDF) improve the combustion of wood fuel, which contains a lot of water. The result is a hotter, cleaner burn that reduces total power plant emissions.

That's a win-win-win. The tire is gone, it's not littering the landscape, and air quality is improved.

Make sure the next time you buy tires that your retailer uses a registered scrap tire hauler to ensure your scrap tire gets properly recycled or reused.

For more information, visit websites for the Michigan Scrap Tire Management Program and the RMA.

Scrap tires are also used to produce rubber mulch, asphalt modifiers and infill for artificial athletic turf.



The Power of Wood is published monthly by Michigan Biomass, a coalition that advocates for, and is supported by, the state's wood-fired power plants. Send questions, comments and inquiries to



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