Biomass Energy

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Alaska Wood Energy Conference 2019

AWEC2018

For more information contact:

Devany Plentovich, AEA AEEE Program Manager

Karen Petersen, SEC Biomass Coordinator

Current Biomass Program Fact Sheet 

                

BIOMASS ANNOUNCEMENT

Alaska Energy Authority, as one of the partners in the Alaska Wood Energy Development Task Group (AWEDTG), is pleased to announce that we are requesting applications for the design and permitting of woody biomass heating projects. The goal is to continue the development of projects that have been shown to be viable by a feasibility study. This RFA is very similar to the United States Forest Service Wood Innovations Grant Program that is currently requesting applications.  USFS Wood Innovations Program applications will only require slight modifications to be ready for submittal to AEA.

If you, your community, or your organization are ready to take the next steps towards a biomass heating system, this is an excellent opportunity to start the process! The RFA is attached and additional information can be found on AEA’s Website: http://www.akenergyauthority.org/Programs/AEEE/Biomass.

Biomass Engineering Design & Permitting Request for Applications Program Guidelines

Current Status

Through AEA's biomass program, 14 wood heating systems are operational and reducing heating costs in Alaskan communities. The Renewable Energy Grant Fund has funded 53 biomass projects. Currently there are 11 biomass systems in design and construction. Numerous projects are in the development phase with 5 prefeasibility studies just completed through the Alaska Wood Energy Development Task Group. AEA was just awarded a USDA grant to develop a best practices handbook for Alaska schools to implements greenhouses in conjunction with biomass heating systems.  September 2016
 

Program Overview

Alaska's most important biomass fuels are wood, sawmill wastes, fish byproducts, and municipal waste. AEA's biomass energy program focuses on developing wood-fired systems that displace fuel oil for heating public facilities, demonstrating fish oil biodiesel performance, and recovering energy from municipal solid waste.

More than 100,000 cords per year are used for residential space heating statewide. Closure of the major pulp mills in Sitka and Ketchikan in the 1990s brought an end to large-scale wood-fired power generation in Alaska; however, the volatility of fossil-fuel pricing has raised interest in using sawdust and wood wastes as fuel for lumber drying, space heating, and small-scale power production.

Demonstration projects like the Sealaska Corporation’s large-scale pellet boiler at its Juneau headquarters and Tok School’s chip-fired boiler have proven that biomass can significantly reduce the cost of energy in a community and has led to the start-up of other wood-fired boilers in Coffman Cove, Craig, Gulkana, Elim, Thorne Bay, Haines, and Tanana.

Interest in manufacturing wood pellets continues to rise. Currently, there are both small and large-scaled plants operating in Alaska. The largest facility, Superior Pellets, is located in North Pole and is capable of producing an estimated 30,000 tons of pellets per year.

Ongoing Partnerships

Through an MOU with 17 State, Federal, and Non-governmental organizations, AEA and the U.S. Forest Service have funded more than 130 pre-feasibility studies since 2005. These low-cost pre-feasibility studies are the catalyst that led to the development of many of the Renewable Energy Grant Fund applications and all of the operational biomass systems. Additional pre-feasibility studies are planned for 2016.

Alaska Energy Authority was one of five states to be awarded a State Wood Energy Team federal grant. This award, along with matching State of Alaska funds, will allow for the continuation of pre-feasibility studies and will provide technical support, education, and project development for biomass heating systems. AEA is also part of the Pacific Regional Biomass Energy Partnership, a state and federally supported effort that encourages bioenergy development in Alaska, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Oregon and Washington.

For more information please contact:

Devany Plentovich
AEEE Program Manager
907-771-3068
907-771-3044

Click on the Image above to open a PDF version or Click here for the downloadable iBook version

A limited number of hardcopies are available to teachers on a first come, first serve basis. To request a hardcopy of the Biomass-Heated Greenhouse Hand book, please contact the AEA biomass program manager, Devany Plentovich. 907-771-3068 dplentovich@akenergyauthority.org

     

Wood remains an important renewable energy source for Alaskans, with over 100,000 cords per year used for residential space heating statewide. Closure of the major pulp mills in Sitka and Ketchikan in the 1990s brought an end to large-scale wood-fired power generation in Alaska; however, recent increases in oil prices have raised interest in using sawdust and wood wastes as fuel for lumber drying, space heating, and small-scale power production. Alaska has also seen renewed interest in converting low-value wood and wood wastes to liquid fuels such as ethanol.            

In 2010, the state's first large-scale pellet boiler was installed by the Sealaska Corporation at its corporate headquarters in Juneau. Additionally, the Tok School installed a chip-fired boiler in 2010 that will displace approximately 65,000 gallons if fuel oil. Wood-fired boilers have been installed in over 20 communities including Coffman Cove, Craig, Gulkana, Kasilof, and Tanana.            

Interest in manufacturing wood pellets continues to rise. Currently, there are both small and large-scaled plants operating in Alaska. The largest facility, Superior Pellets, is located in North Pole and is capable of producing an estimated 30, 000 tons of pellets per year. 

Sawmill residue

     

 

 

Fish Oil & Biodiesel



Shore-based and floating groundfish procesors produce approximately 8 million gallons per year of fish oil from as a byproduct of fish meal plants. Much of the oil is used in the process as boiler fuel for drying the fish meal or exported to Pacific Rim markets for livestock and aquaculture feed supplements and other uses. In 2001, with the assistance of AEA and the Alaska Science and Technology Foundation, processor UniSea Inc. conducted successful tests of raw fish oil/diesel blends in a 2.2 MW 2-cycle Fairbanks Morse engine generator. Since then, the company has expanded the operation and used over two million gallons of 50-50 raw fish oil-diesel blend for power production between July 2002 and June 2004.            

Biodiesel is an engine fuel manufactured from renewable sources, such as vegetable oils, recycled cooking greases or oils, or animal fats. Biodiesel is a U.S. EPA-approved substitute manufactured to established industry standards.

In 2010, Alaska Waste opened Alaska's first large-scale biodiesel plant. The plant produces 250,000 gallons of biodiesel annually with the waste vegetable oil that is gathered from local restaurants. Alaska plans to fuel up to 20% their vehicles with the biodiesel.         

   


Alaskans generate approximately 650,000 tons of garbage per year. Currently, the Municipality of Anchorage and its partners are converting methane gas from the city's landfill into electricity. This project was originally projected to produce up to 3 MW of power, enough to supply 3,000 homes along the Railbelt and the equivalent energy of 2 million gallons of diesel per year. However, the landfill gas project is already producing over 5 MW of electricity. Over the next thirty years gas and energy output from the landfill is expected to more than double. The Municipality has produced a video summarizing the project.



Burning Garbage and Land Disposal in Rural Alaska. Alaska Energy Authority and Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation, 2004. (size 2617kb)

Juneau Heat Recovery and Distribution Prefeasibility Assessment. Assesses heat recovery from Juneau incinerator for local space heating. Prepared by Peter Crimp, Alaska Energy Authority, Anchorage, Alaska, 1993.

Landfill Gas Utilization Economic Evaluation for Anchorage Regional Landfill. Prepared by Shaw EMCON/OWT for Municipality of Anchorage Sold Waste Services 2004.

Toxic and Hazardous Emissions Associated with Co-Firing Mixed Fuels in Direct Combustion Systems.  Air emissions from co-firing biomass and fossil fuels. Prepared by David C. Junge, Ph.D., School of Engineering, University of Alaska, Anchorage, 1990.

Use of Mixed Fuels in Direct Combustion Systems. Operational, environmental, and economic considerations for co-firing fossil fuels, wood, and municipal solid waste. Prepared by David C. Junge, Ph.D., School of Engineering, University of Alaska, Anchorage, 1989.

Waste-to-Energy Feasibility Study for Channel Landfill Inc.   Assesses feasibility of heat and power recovery from Juneau incinerators. Prepared by Harris Group Inc., Seattle, WA, 1997.   



FOREST RESOURCES ON STATE FOREST LANDS IN THE COPPER RIVER BASIN - A PRELIMINARY ESTIMATE prepared by Douglas Hanson, Inventory Forester State of Alaska, Department of Natural Resources, Division of Forestry Northern Region,  2010.

Analysis of Wood Fiber Feedstock Availability for a Proposed Ethanol Plant in Southeast Alaska.  Delivered cost and quantity of logging and mill waste in Southeast. Prepared by Charles Nash for Division of Energy and National Renewable Energy Laboratory, 1998.

Dot Lake Wood-Fired Boiler Final Design. Drawings and analysis of small wood boiler retrofit in Dot Lake.  Prepared by Alaska Energy Engineering, Anchorage, Alaska, 1997.

Feasibility Study for Building and Operating a Power Generating Plant for the City of Thorne Bay, Alaska. Assessment of wood residue-fired power plant. Prepared by Carroll, Hatch & Associates, Inc. and Paul E. Oliver, P.E. Portland, Oregon, 1995.

Logistics of Wood Fiber Collection and Processing for the Production of Ethanol in Southeast Alaska.  Options for processing, handling, and transporting wood residue in Southeast. Prepared by Charles Nash for Division of Energy and National Renewable Energy Laboratory, 1998.

McGrath Biomass Heating Project, 35% Design.  Analysis and design of a hybrid biomass / diesel waste heat system. Prepared by J.S. Strandberg Engineers, revised by MBA Engineering, Anchorage, Alaska, 1998-9.

Seward Wood Waste to Energy Prefeasibility Assessment. Assesses use of mill waste as fuel for heating of an industrial area.  Prepared by Peter Crimp, Division of Energy, Department of Community and Regional Affairs, Anchorage, Alaska, 1994.   

Biomass Case Studies

 

Anchorage Landfill Gas to Electricity

Cordova Wood Processing

Delta Junction Case Study

Gulkana Central Wood

Haines Central Wood

Thorne Bay Biomass

Tok Wood Heating

 

 

 

 

 

 



                                  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Alaska Wood Energy Development Task Group announces Wood Energy Pre-Feasibility Grants


The Alaska Wood Energy Development Task Group (AWEDTG) consists of a coalition of federal and state agencies and not-for-profit organizations that have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to explore opportunities to increase the utilization of wood for energy and biofuels production in Alaska. These organizations include: the Alaska Energy Authority; Alaska Village Initiatives; Denali Commission; Juneau Economic Development Council; National Renewable Energy Laboratory; State of Alaska, Department of Natural Resources, Division of Forestry; USDA Farm Service Agency, Alaska; USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, Alaska; USDA Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station; USDA Rural Development, Alaska; USDI Bureau of Indian Affairs, Alaska; USDI Bureau of Land Management, Alaska; USDOC Economic Development Administration, Alaska; The Nature Conservancy; Tanana Chiefs Conference; Southeast Conference; University of Alaska Fairbanks, Cooperative Extension Service; and USDA Forest Service, Alaska Region.

The AWEDTG is seeking a Statement of Interest from parties that would like to explore the feasibility of community heating projects of individual facility, community, and/or district heating projects with high-efficiency, low-emission, wood-fired systems.

Statements of Interest will be accepted year round

If you have any questions, please contact:
Karen Petersen
Tel. (907) 821-2681
E-mail: biomass@seconference.org

 

Examples of previous Wood Energy Development Pre-feasibility Studies

AWEDTG Feasibility Assessment Final Report 2006
AWEDTG Final Report 2005-2008