I had a meeting with the chair of the Tompkins County Legislature and the head of the County economic development agency. I pointed out that space heating using locally produced biomass fuel was economically attractive and offered many other benefits. I suggested that local government could play a key role in building a robust local supply chain by converting some of their facilities to biomass heating. The payback time for well-chosen projects could be less than five years and capital costs could be amortized against fuel bill savings. Establishing a small but reliable market for locally produced biomass fuel will convince potential supply chain stakeholders that it is time to get engaged.
Planning is underway to organize a meeting for current and potential future biomass fuel consumers and supply chain stakeholders. The purpose of the first meeting is to bring together current commercial and institutional users of biomass thermal energy in the Ithaca area (along with a few consulting experts in the field) with potential future users. The goal will be to inform the potential users about the biomass energy option for their facilities.
Note from moderator: This has happened already in Danby, a village in the south part of Tompkins County, where a biomass boiler is in the process of being purchased for the Highway Department with the help of a NYSERDA grant.