Wallowa Resources Slashes Energy Costs with Biomass Heating System, Recognized for Leadership
In 2012, Wallowa Resource from Enterprise, Oregon, installed two pellet boilers that meet 85% of their heating needs and replace 20,000 gallons of heating oil. Wallowa Resources is a nonprofit organization focused on the stewardship of Wallowa County’s land and community and helps to revitalize rural communities by generating community based solutions.
“We wanted to develop markets for forest products, and looked at using biomass in our building. Compared to fossil fuel options, biomass is less expensive for us,” said Matt King, the Renewable Energy Program Coordinator at Wallowa Resources.
Now we save $40,000 a year in heating costs and support the local community by purchasing $25,000 worth of pellets a year,
The most challenging part of the project was inserting the new boiler into an old commercial building with multi-use office space, as the existing HVAC system was inadequate. “The pellet boiler is quite effective. It offsets our heating load and is very low maintenance,” King concluded.
“Unlike solar panels and wind turbines, biomass heating systems often lack visibility, and therefore system owners do not receive the same kind of recognition for their efforts to generate renewable energy,” Joseph Seymour, BTEC Executive Director explained.
The recognition program addresses this issue by highlighting biomass heating systems like Wallowa’s in a prominent place and informing visitors about a site’s renewable energy system.
Biomass heating systems provide significant benefits to a community. Aside of reducing reliance on fossil fuels, they also help use local forest resources, reduce wildfires, inject revenue in the local economy, create jobs, support energy independence, and help improve forest health.
Biomass thermal installations qualify for the Green Heat program if they meet several key requirements, including fuel sourcing and energy production. The site must use their biomass thermal system for at least 25% of its annual heating needs and may only use renewable biomass like wood or agricultural resources.
For more information on the Biomass Green Heat Registered Site program, visit www.biomassthermal.org/getRecognized.
About the Biomass Thermal Energy Council
The Biomass Thermal Energy Council (BTEC) is an association of biomass fuel producers, appliance manufacturers and distributors, supply chain companies and non-profit organizations that view biomass thermal energy as a renewable, responsible, clean and energy-efficient pathway to meeting America’s energy needs. BTEC engages in research, education, and public advocacy for the fast growing biomass thermal energy industry. For more information, visit www.biomassthermal.org.