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Biomass energy entrepreneurs, apply now for free technical assistance

November 7, 2012
Westfield Republican / Mayville Sentinel News

The New York Biomass Energy Alliance is inviting individuals, groups and businesses interested in developing New York's green energy sector to apply for technical assistance grants that will pay for the engineering, design, feasibility and financial analysis and other technical assistance needed to move their projects closer to commercialization.

Landowners looking to profitize uncultivated grass fields. Business owners with start-up plans to provide centralized heating for rural communities. Entrepreneurs interested in developing biomass processing and storage facilities, but in need of engineering expertise. Innovators with an eye toward developing biomass processing but needing to identify end-users.

The grants are for projects that are past the concept stage, but not at a point that entrepreneurs can attract investment capital or financing. The Technical Assistance for Customer-Sited Rural Biomass Energy Projects in NYS program is not a grant or loan program.

"The funding pays to connect project leaders with experienced professionals who understand energy production, combustion, heat transfer, sustainable feedstock crop handling, business model evaluation, end-user marketing and regional economics," New York Biomass Energy Alliance Executive Administrator Alice Brumbach said.

Technical assistance will be awarded on a rolling basis and applications are now being accepted.

Successful applicants may work with specialists to assess and/or improve project design, to scale-up a project for commercial application using up to 20,000 tons of biomass annually, or to develop strategies for securing project financing and loans.

Projects must be located in New York's rural communities with populations of fewer than 50,000 residents and not adjacent to major metropolitan areas.

Projects located in areas with unemployment higher than the state average and media household income equal to or below 85 percent of the state's median household income and projects with the potential to create the equivalent of at least three full-time jobs will receive preferential consideration.

The program is administered by the New York Biomass Energy Alliance in collaboration with the New York Farm Viability Institute and SUNY Cobleskill with U.S.D.A. Rural Development Rural Business Enterprise Grant funding. The NYFVI and SUNY Cobleskill are also providing in-kind support.

"Biomass crops and applications become more and more important as New York State transitions to a green energy economy," NYFVI Managing Director David Grusenmeyer said. "The New York Farm Viability Institute is pleased to support this program that enables project developers to move forward with feasibility assessment, barrier identification and success strategies."

More information and the technical assistance for Customer-Sited Rural Biomass Energy Projects in NYS grant application are online at www.newyorkbiomass.org/default.aspx?PageID=3478.

The New York Biomass Energy Alliance is a membership organization operating under the sponsorship of the New York Farm Viability Institute. Its mission is to build public understanding of the full range of biomass-to-energy technologies and to network emerging biomass energy businesses with researchers and potential producers of energy crops.

 
 
 

 

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