The Integrated Biomass Energy Center (IBEC) realizes a vision to integrate business, environment and economic benefits in rural areas. IBEC is a small scale plant that uses waste streams from nearby wood products businesses to produce heat and power. This mutually beneficial relationship captures renewable energy and utilizes nearly 100% of the feedstock stream. With funding from federal, state, local and private sources, WR Community Solutions Inc. has provided financial sourcing, technology identification/sourcing, and economic modeling to IBEC.
Biomass, or organic matter used as fuel, is one of the oldest known energy sources.
Correctly managed, biomass produces fewer carbon emissions than fossil fuels. Furthermore, well-planned and appropriately scaled biomass systems promote forest restoration, forest health, fire mitigation and habitat improvement – plus water conservation in juniper zones. These projects create businesses and jobs. Using biomass for energy also provides a market for wood waste from milling, firewood, slash piles, and more.
Because of improvements in technology, wood-fueled power and heat is an increasingly viable option for municipal buildings, schools, and businesses. In existing structures, boiler conversions to replace fossil fuels-based furnaces are well worth investigating.