Grants to Schools, Affordable Housing, and Pellet Supply Companies
Montpelier, Vermont – Commissioner Christopher Recchia announced that the Department of Public Service (DPS) has awarded $913,054 from the Clean Energy Development Fund (CEDF) to increase the demand and supply for local wood heat. The CEDF awarded 11 grants to schools and affordable housing projects across the State to install advanced wood heating systems and five grants to increase the supply infrastructure of wood pellets. The heating systems are projected to eliminate the use of roughly 124 thousand gallons of fossil fuel annually, bringing the state closer to its goal of meeting 30% of Vermont’s space heating needs with renewable energy by 2025.
“I am pleased to announce over $438,000 in grants to local schools and housing groups in support of the development of clean, renewable biomass heat for these important institutions, along with an additional five grants totaling $474,000 for improving bulk wood pellet infrastructure and delivery” said Commissioner Recchia.
“Even with today’s low oil prices we are seeing an increased interest in switching to local bulk pellets” said Andrew Perchlik, CEDF Director.
The DPS/CEDF is working with Department of Forests, Parks, and Recreation (FP&R) and the Agency of Commerce and Community Development (ACCD) to build a vibrant advanced wood heat sector in Vermont. Staff from FP&R assisted the CEDF in the program design and grant selection process. In reviewing the projects the CEDF received technical assistance from the Vermont State Wood Energy Team and the U.S. Forest Service’s Wood Education and Resource Center.
FP&R Commissioner Michael Snyder said “These grants are providing necessary support for the type of advanced wood heat projects that help to sustain our forests and the Vermont forest product sector”.
ACCD Deputy Secretary Leriche said “Our agency sees great economic and community development potential in switching from imported fossil fuels to local wood for our heating needs, and we will continue to collaborate with the DPS on projects like the ones announced today.”
Additional information on all the grant awards is available on the DPS website at:http://publicservice.vermont.gov/renewable_energy/cedf