Catch up with PFI in this issue of the Pellet Wire!

April 26, 2019 

In This Week's Pellet Wire:

Executive Director's Notes - My Northwest Passage

This week I was the guest of past Pellet Fuels Institute chairman Stan Elliot from Pacific Coast Pellets on a four-day tour of some of the pellet manufacturing and pellet appliance retailing sites in Washington and Oregon. It was hoped that the whirlwind tour would simultaneously allow me to darken the door of our members in the region, visit arguably the most successful pellet appliance retailer in the Pacific Northwest and reach out to producers in the region not currently onboard the PFI bus. I’m happy to report the trip was successful on all counts.

Our trip began at the Pacific Coast Pellets facility in Shelton, Washington. The facility processes 100% Douglas Fir, a feedstock found throughout the pellet manufacturing infrastructure in the Pacific Northwest and adored by producers and consumers alike for its low-ash, high-Btu properties. Like all of the other facilities we visited throughout the week, Pacific Coast Pellets was operating and in the early stages of rebuilding inventories that were completely depleted by a robust, high-demand heating season. In my conversations with Stan leading up to our trip he shared with me that he was receiving and fulfilling orders well into April this year, effectively shortening his inventory building timeframe. My trip revealed that Pacific Coast Pellet’s experience was not unique.

Peppered throughout our travels were stops at three different Coastal Farm & Ranch retail stores. In 2017 while still writing for Pellet Mill Magazine, I wrote this story on the regional retailer and their importance to the pellet heating supply chain in Washington and Oregon. What the 17-location retailer has accomplished with its hearth-center-within-a-store concept is impressive and a vital part of the market growth occurring in the region. Essentially Coastal Farm & Ranch has deployed a specialty hearth store in the middle of the classic farm and ranch retail outlet, complete with a knowledgeable staff and a wide selection of wood, pellet and gas appliances. In four days I visited Coastal stores in Yakima and Albany, Washington and Auburn, Oregon. At each location I was blown away by the experience and tenure of the professionals working in the hearth department. Also of great interest to me was the retail space dedicated to pellet barbecues and accessories.

I wrapped up my trip this morning with a stop at the Lignetics production facility in Brownsville, Oregon – an impressive 100,000 ton-plus production facility. Just like Pacific Coast Pellets, the team at Brownsville is working diligently to lay in inventory in anticipation of a 2019-20 heating season that will find retailers and consumers ready to begin replenishing their depleted inventories.

A special thanks to Stan Elliot and Pacific Coast Pellets for hosting me and showing me the ropes in this beautiful and important pellet producing and burning region.

—Tim Portz
Executive Director

Win a Pellet Grill

Be sure to register AND book your hotel room by Tuesday, April 30, to be automatically entered to win your very own Dansons LC-900 pellet grill!

Remember, the room block closes May 3rd!

Photo of the Week

We're building a collection of photos of our members, their pellets mills and products.
Send them to Carrie Annand at 
[email protected]. This week’s featured photo shows Tim Portz joining Stan Elliot of Pacific Coast Pellets for a pellet tour of the Pacific Northwest.

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We'd like to connect and interact with PFI members and anyone else involved in pellet fuels production! 

Here's how you can help us build our online community:

  1. Follow us on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook!
  2. Encourage your colleagues and other business associates to follow us.
  3. Send Carrie Annand via email at [email protected] news or other ideas to post on LinkedIn.

Have News to Share on Pellet Wire?

We'd love to feature your company's news in a future Pellet Wire! We want to be the first to know your company's recent developments to share them with the wider pellet fuels industry.

Please be in touch with Carrie Annand via email at [email protected] with information on your company's growth, job openings, promotions, or other news. 

Join a PFI Committee

We welcome and encourage all interested PFI members to get involved in our committees. There are many opportunities to help steer the association. No matter where your expertise and interests lie, we have a committee that will suit you. Help us plan our next conference, shape our policy agenda, lead communications outreach, or grow the PFI Standards Program. Visit PFI's website for more information. 

Upcoming Industry Events

June 57, 2019: 2019 PFI Annual Conference

Hotel Block Closes May 3! Book Your Hotel

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Fuel Availability

Are you a PFI member, pellet manufacturer, or distributor that has fuel available? Email [email protected] to have your listing updated or added to the PFI website.

Thanks for Your Continued Support of PFI! 

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Industry News

Granite Geek: N.H. firm hopes device can replace your home appliances (Concord Monitor):

Stop me if you’ve heard this before: A well-known New Hampshire entrepreneur wants to create an home-sized power plant that can provide electricity, heat and hot water using a type of engine that has been around for a century but never really commercialized.

Nope, you’re wrong. You haven’t heard it before, because I’m not talking about Dean Kamen’s efforts to create a home-sized Stirling engine, the subject of many past Monitor stories.

No, we’re talking about Steve Walker, founder of New England Wood Pellet and innovator in the biomass industry, who has founded a tiny company in Peterborough that just got $3 million in federal research money to develop a mini power plant that can fit in your home using a Brayton cycle engine.

Before we plunge into technical details, here’s the backstory. ...

Read Full Article

Letter: Increasing local biomass is win-win for all (The Berkshire Eagle, MA):

To the editor:

In Massachusetts, 80 percent of all households heat with fossil fuels (natural gas or oil). Legislation was enacted that adds renewable biomass thermal energy to the state's Alternative Portfolio Standard (APS) for heat and power to reduce the use of fossil fuels by promoting the use of clean, sustainable, renewable biomass. This legislation was supported by Mass Audubon, the Conservation Law Foundation, the Environmental League of Massachusetts and the Massachusetts Forest Alliance. Facilities using biomass fuel must be low emission, very efficient, and use fuel that is produced by means of sustainable forestry practices.

With the new incentives, we can greatly increase the use of biomass thermal whether it is wood pellets, wood chips or firewood for homes, schools, municipal buildings, and small businesses using locally produced wood. Utilizing more junk wood from our forests will improve forestry and create real green jobs. ...

Read Full Article

How to buy the best grill (CNET):

Read Full Article


Pellet Fuels Institute

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