PFI's Weekly Newsletter 


May 12, 2017

In this Week's Pellet Wire:

Register for the 2017 PFI Annual Conference in Stowe, Vermont!   

We are pleased to announce that registration is open for the 2017 PFI Annual Conference! We hope you will join us in Stowe, Vermont, to network with friends and peers from the pellet fuels industry and learn about all the current market trends.

Don't forget to book your hotel room with the Stowe Mountain Lodge! PFI has negotiated a conference rate with The Stowe Mountain Lodge for $259.00 (single/double). Contact the hotel directly to make your reservation at 888-478-6938 or online.

Stowe has been a destination for world travelers for well over a century. The alpine style of the lodge reflects the beauty of the green mountains and rolling hills. Having opened in June 2008, Stowe Mountain Lodge sets a new standard of luxury and aesthetics for the East Coast's most magnificent resort.

In conjunction with a dynamic conference program, you can visit some of the nearby sites like the Alchemist Brewery and some of the best shopping and dining Vermont has to offer. Combined with some of the area outdoor activities such as zip lining, biking, the PFI conference is a must-attend event. Take a look at all the great things Stowe has to offer.

We hope to see you this summer in Vermont! Please contact [email protected] with any questions. 


Government Affairs Update: Farm Bill 2018

PFI has been participating in an influential D.C.-based coalition known as Forests in the Farm Bill or FIFB. This coalition has been successful in previous Farm Bill reauthorization lobbying efforts at including policy priorities for the forestry and forest products industries in the comprehensive bill that governs farm and rural development programs. The current Farm Bill expires next year.

This cycle we have been advocating for a makeover of the Community Wood Energy Program, which is currently part of the Farm Bill Energy Title, but has never been implemented because it never received any funding. The proposal on the table, which has been approved by the FIFB Steering Committee, would provide $50 million annually over the life of the new Farm Bill (5 years) for capital investments in advanced wood energy and combined heat and power systems in public and private facilities and to support other uses of low value, low quality wood, with a preference for projects that use byproducts of wildfire, forest health treatments and wood product manufacturers, projects in areas that need markets for low value, low quality wood, or have limited access to pipeline natural gas.

The objective is for this new, expanded and more muscular CWEP to accelerate deployment nationwide of high efficiency biomass heating systems that run on pellets or chips. The hardwood forest products industry is growing increasingly vocal over concerns about mounting residuals piles at their facilities. We think enactment of these changes to CWEP, as well as passage of the BTU Act, would obviously help pellet producers, but also have an upstream positive impact on our hardwood industry suppliers

Waste-to-Wisdom Holding Public Workshop on May 17 in Sacramento, CA

Waste-to-Wisdom will be holding a one-day public workshop in Sacramento, California, on May 17, to talk about the advances being made in studying the conversion of forest residues for energy. Humboldt State University and its 15 regional partners - which include PFI, Lignetics and the U.S. Forest Service - will discuss new technologies and discoveries that will make wood-to-energy increasingly efficient and diversified. 

During the one-day public workshop you will have an opportunity to:

  • See innovative methods and tools used to convert forest residues into high quality biomass feedstock to specifications required by different biomass conversion technologies.
  • Learn how we developed a model to optimize the selection of production pathways including collection, comminution, product upgrading (moisture control, densification, and in-woods biomass conversion), and transportation to maximize net revenue.
  • Hear how we scaled-up the most promising prototype units for three biomass conversion technologies - biochar production system, torrefier, and briquetter - to sizes appropriate for achieving commercialization.
  • Understand how we evaluated the economic feasibility, social impacts, and ecological sustainability of implementing the proposed conversion technologies in addition to a cradle-to-grave life cycle inventory for each of the individual systems.
  • Participate in topic-based breakout discussions. 

Please visit the Waste-to-Wisdom website for the full agenda and registration

Waste to Wisdom is an innovative biomass research project led by Humboldt State University and 15 regional partners, who are building on existing research on the conversion of forest residues into renewable energy and other valuable bio-based products. Our goal is to make better use of forest residues wasted from timber harvests and thinning by using new equipment, operations, and technologies that can turn that biomass into valuable bioenergy and bio-based products.

In Case You Missed It – Biomass Power Association Releases Study on Carbon Benefits of Biomass Fuel

The Biomass Power Association this week released a study by two professors demonstrating dramatic carbon benefits by using forest residue-based biomass fuel instead of natural gas in a power generation facility. The study, conducted by Dr. Madhu Khanna, Distinguished Professor in Environmental Economics at the University of Illinois Department of Agricultural and Consumer Economics, and Dr. Puneet Dwivedi, Assistant Professor in Sustainability Sciences at the University of Georgia Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources, found that emissions from a biomass power facility using forest residue-based fuel are 115% lower than those of a natural gas facility in one year. Over one hundred years, those savings remain at 98% after accounting for emissions from logging activities.

Please visit Biomass Power Association's website for the full study and a one page summary of the findings.

2017 PFI Sponsorship & Advertising Opportunities

PFI invites you to become a 2017 sponsor! This year, we have developed a new, streamlined sponsorship program that will create multiple opportunities for your company in 2017. Your company will have great visibility at PFI events, on the PFI website, and in the PFI newsletter, amongst other benefits.

The 2017 Sponsorship packages include benefits such as:

  • PFI Annual Conference registrations
  • Breakfast & Biomass registrations
  • Company logo listed on the PFI website
  • 10x10 booth at the PFI Annual Conference
  • Weekly newsletter advertising
  • Website advertising
  • And more!

PFI's membership includes over 100 member companies, and our electronic newsletter is sent to over 3,500 people every week. Now is the time to become a sponsor of this organization. Visit our website to explore how you can become involved.

Follow and Connect With Us on Social Media!

We urge all PFI members to engage with us on social media. By joining PFI in being visible and active on social media, we can make our voices heard more loudly and by many more audiences.

Follow us on Twitter: @PelletFuel
Friend us on Facebook:
Link with us 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 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

July 23-25, 2017: PFI Annual Conference

Connect with PFI
Join PFI

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.

Industry News

Second annual wood stove fair held in Portola 
Plumas County News, California 

The Northern Sierra Air Quality Management District held its second annual wood stove fair at the Veterans Hall parking lot in Portola on April 21.

The sun made a welcome appearance for the outdoor event, which was lightly attended. Julie Ruiz, air district air pollution control specialist, noted, "Because it was such a lovely day, we had a smaller turnout than hoped, but my personal thought is that the folks in Portola have had it with winter and were enjoying the outdoors."

The wood stove fair was intended to educate and promote the wood stove change-out program to qualified homeowners within the greater Portola area for replacement of non-EPA certified wood stoves with new, efficient, cleaner burning EPA certified devices. The Portola area is a PM2.5 non-attainment area, resulting in efforts to minimize the air quality effects of wood burning stoves.

Read the Full Article

Learn about wood pellet safety in action 
Canadian Biomass

Workplace safety should be top of mind, no matter what industry you're in.  Canadian Biomass magazine is proud to partner with the Wood Pellet Association of Canada for two days dedicated to all things safety.

The Wood Pellet Safety Conference and Workshop Safety in Action will take place on June 13 and 14, 2017 in Prince George, B.C. 

This is your opportunity to learn how the pellet industry is continuing to improve its safety performance. 

You can gain ideas for improving the safety of your operations as well as increasing your profitability. 

Whether you're in operation and maintenance, a plant owner, an engineering consultant or insurance professional attending means joining a collective commitment to make the Canadian wood pellet industry the safest of any country.

Read Full Article

Biomass is a foundation of New Hampshire's rural economy
New Hampshire Union Leader

In the past year, there has been a lot of talk about the high cost of electricity in New Hampshire. Compared to other regions of the U.S., New England continues to be burdened with some of the most expensive electricity costs to both New Hampshire residents and manufacturing facilities.

We all want lower electricity prices. The challenge is how to achieve that goal in a highly regulated and regionally integrated system. It is very complex.

First, we must look at what we need in our electricity system and what is worth paying for. We need to look at the increasing costs of transmission and distribution. We need to look at the region's future in energy generation. The House and Senate have already passed legislation to undertake such a study (SB 125.)

Read the Full Article 

University of Maine at Farmington Biomass Plant exceeds expectations in First Year of Operation 

The University of Maine at Farmington's new biomass plant has outperformed expectations in its first year in operation, lowering energy costs and usage and generating $7 in economic activity for every dollar spent to fuel the plant, according to university officials.

With the additional savings the plant has created, it is on schedule to pay itself off in less than the 10 years initially projected, although UMF director of facilities management Jeffrey McKay said he would not know until June just how much the university saved in energy costs this year. Even so, McKay said the plant had proven more efficient, using less fuel overall than in previous years and requiring less energy for heat and hot water.

Read Full Article

Pellet Fuels Institute |  [email protected]   | 206.209.5277