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Wood-To-Energy Projects Get Stimulus Dollars

A half dozen private sawmills around the Northwest are splitting about $17 million in federal economic stimulus grants.  The new awards follow a wood-to-energy theme.  Correspondent Tom Banse reports.

The federal government is promoting two goals with its latest round of stimulus contracts. 

One is to create a market for all of those tree trimmings and wood chips generated by thinning work aimed at reducing wildfire risk. 

A second goal is to boost renewable energy from wood waste. 

The Vaagen Brothers lumber company in Colville, Washington gets a quarter million dollar grant.  Timber resource manager Josh Anderson says it will buy better equipment to chip up logging slash piles for burning at a nearby electric generating plant.

Josh Anderson: “For us, it’ll allow us to move more material per day, per hour, handle it less, and improve the cost effectiveness.”

Four million dollars will build a pellet mill from scratch in Grant County, Oregon to fuel those increasingly popular wood pellet stoves.

The Warm Springs tribal sawmill gets $5 million to install boilers that can run on tree trimmings.


U.S. Forest Service economic stimulus contract list

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