May 20, 2016

In this Week's Pellet Wire:

PFI Announces New Qualifications to the PFI Standards Program 

PFI announced this week the qualification of pellet fuel manufacturer NWP Jasper LLC of Jasper, Tennessee, into the Pellet Fuels Institute (PFI) Standards Program. New England Wood Pellet, a company with several previously qualified facilities, also added to the program a newly qualified facility, Allegheny Plant in Youngsville, Pennsylvania. The PFI Standards Program now counts thirteen pellet manufacturing companies as qualified members, representing among them twenty-two facilities. Timber Products Inspection was the accredited auditing agency leading both qualifications.

"Acceptance into the PFI Standards Program is a significant achievement," said Stephen Faehner, Chairman of the PFI Board of Directors. "The program continues to grow, with an increasingly larger share of the market earning the right to place the PFI Quality Mark on their product bags. Many retailers look for the Quality Mark when making decisions on which pellet fuel brands to purchase. We look forward to many more PFI Standards Program members."

In qualifying for the Standards Program, NWP Jasper LLC joins companies with previously qualified facilities New England Wood Pellet, Curran Renewable Energy, American Wood Fibers, Lignetics Inc., Marth Peshtigo Pellet Co., Forest Energy Corp., Indeck Ladysmith, Energex, Spearfish Pellet Co., Michigan Wood Fuels LLC, Trae Fuels Ltd., and Somerset Pellet Fuel.

Visit PFI's website to read the full press release.

Host an Event for Bioenergy Day 2016, Taking Place on October 19

October 19, 2016, marks the Fourth Annual Bioenergy Day! Many pellet fuels manufacturers are planning facility tours and other events to emphasize the many economic and environmental benefits of bioenergy to elected officials, customers, the media and other stakeholders.

We urge anyone interested in building ties to their communities to consider hosting a Bioenergy Day event, either on your own or jointly with other bioenergy businesses or supporters in your region. There are many resources available to help you plan, including a Participation Guide on the Bioenergy Day website. Previous participants are also willing to share best practices, lessons learned, and other tips to ensure a smooth and successful event. 

Thanks to many sponsors, including the U.S. Forest Service, and participants, Bioenergy Day has grown each year. Organizations across the country have engaged their communities on bioenergy, earning dozens of media stories and helping more people understand bioenergy. State and local governments, elected officials, universities and businesses have all recognized bioenergy in its many forms. Biomass power, domestic and export pellets, biogas, anaerobic digesters, combined heat and power - all of these types of bioenergy are part of Bioenergy Day.

To learn more, visit, or send an email to Carrie Annand at [email protected]

USDA Announces Wood Energy Grant Recipients

On May 13, USDA announced 42 projects that were awarded funding under Forest Service's Wood Innovation grant program. The funds, in excess of $8.5 million, will include investments in biomass district heating and modern wood heating, as well as fuels for schools programs and torrefaction projects. One of the highlights of the announcement is that two additional State Wood Energy Teams will be formed-in Nebraska and Maine.

To view a full list of the award recipients and their locations, please visit the U.S. Forest Service website

Reserve Your Space at the 2016 PFI Annual Conference in Asheville, NC!

Don't miss this year's PFI Annual Conference at the Omni Grove Park Inn in Asheville, North Carolina! Registration opened last week for the conference, taking place July 24-26, 2016. 

The PFI Annual Conference highlights the various applications of densified biomass, as well as trends and best practices within the densified biomass industry. It attracts a broad range of individuals from the public and private sectors, academia, and local, state and national governments from North America and beyond. The conference features two days of educational sessions as well as industry exhibits, extensive networking opportunities and a golf tournament.

Sponsorship & Exhibiting Opportunities

We are also excited to announce sponsorship and exhibitor packages for the PFI Annual Conference. Sponsorship and exhibition at PFI's Annual Conference offers fantastic marketing and networking opportunities for all involved in the pellet fuels industry. Each year, colleagues from across North America and beyond attend this "can't miss" conference featuring two days of educational sessions, industry exhibits and social events. For additional information on sponsorships and exhibition, please contact the PFI office.

Preview of Conference Speakers

We have an exciting and informative lineup of speakers planned for this year's conference. The keynote speaker will be Tom Martin, CEO of the American Forest Foundation, which works with families, teachers and elected officials to promote stewardship and protect the values provided by our nation's forest heritage.

Other speakers will include:

  • Executives from Drax and Enviva
  • International updates from Gordon Murray-WPAC and Dr. William Strauss-FutureMetrics
  • Government policy updates from Pat Rita-Orion Advocates and a representative from the EPA
  • Market experts will reveal new market opportunities in BBQ pelletsanimal beddings, and absorption markets


Upcoming Industry Events

June 6-9, 2016 : European Biomass Conference & Exhibition

June 15-17, 2016
: International Bioenergy Conference

July 24-26, 2016
: PFI Annual Conference

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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.

Industry News

Summer Means Grill, but Why Not Add Some Smoke?
Associated Press
Summer's on its way and that means grilling for many people, so why not try smoking? Steven Raichlen, who wrote "The Barbecue! Bible," has followed with "Project Smoke," also the name of a PBS series he hosts that will launch its second season over Memorial Day weekend.

"By now, in 2016, most people know how to grill, and even if they don't know how to grill and they have the Y chromosome, they think they know how to do it," he said in a recent interview. "Smoking is not something that most people grew up doing, so there is a learning curve and there's an intimidation factor, but once you do it, it can give you tremendous satisfaction."

Read the Full Article

White Paper Refutes Letter to Congress claim on biomass energy
Biomass Magazine
Earlier this month, FutureMetrics LLC published a white paper authored by William Strauss that discusses why an editorial the Washington Post published at the end of April and the letter to U.S. Congress the article was based on make inaccurate claims about biomass for energy.

The Washington Post's editorial entitled "Dear Congress: Burning wood is not the future of energy" was based on a recent written "warning" to congress by 65 research scientists and practitioners who study energy, soils, forested and wetland ecosystems and climate change. As a recognized global consultant in the wood pellet sector, Strauss with FutureMetrics stated "we strongly disagree with the experts' characterization in their letter to Congress that biomass is never carbon neutral."

Read the Full Article

Wood boiler OK'd for Sanderson, not for Mohawk
The Recorder, Massachusetts
Despite some environmental concerns raised, two West County schools are moving to burning wood over petroleum, but not Mohawk Trail Regional High School.

With a state grant already in hand, Sanderson Academy in Ashfield will be getting a wood-pellet boiler system installed hopefully before winter. But Mohawk Trail Regional High School will forgo a similar system, and instead replace its failing propane boiler with a similar new propane system - for financial reasons not environmental ones.

Read the Full Article

Pellet Fuels Institute |  [email protected]   | 703.522.6778