WASHINGTON D.C. - U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen announced Wednesday that her request to support the development of North Country wood energy projects has been approved by the Senate Appropriations Committee. Shaheen secured $200,000 for the Northern Forest Center to facilitate wood energy projects in North Country communities. The Northern Forest Center works to preserve the Northern Forest of New Hampshire, Maine, New York, and Vermont, as well as foster a sustainable regional economy. These funds were included in the Fiscal Year 2011 Energy and Water Development Appropriations bill, which is now ready for consideration by the full Senate.
"Our beautiful Northern Forest is a cherished New Hampshire resource, and I am committed both to its preservation and the revitalization of its wonderful communities," said Shaheen. "Sustainable wood energy projects present a tremendous opportunity not just to reduce our dependence on dirty fossil fuels, but also to bring a new industry and jobs to the North Country."
"Northern Forest communities can reduce dependence on imported oil, save money, and sustain forest-based jobs by using their local, renewable forest resource to produce heat or combined heat and power," said Rob Riley, president of the Northern Forest Center. "This investment will help communities in the North Country evaluate new woody biomass energy opportunities and connect them to resources they need to get a biomass project going."
The funding will enable the Northern Forest Center to compile and disseminate information on regional sustainable energy development efforts, provide technical assistance to communities interested in biomass energy, develop fi nancing options for biomass projects and foster the creation of local networks for supplying sustainable biomass to community scale facilities.