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Anchorage Daily News: Alaska Energy Authority plans biomass projects



 — The Alaska Energy Authority will be installing 14 biomass boiler projects this year, and six of those projects will share $20 million from the state's Renewable Energy Fund.

The six projects are located in Galena, Kake, Ketchikan, Haines, Minto, and Yakutat.

Eight more boilers make up a second tier of the organization's to-do list, the Juneau Empire ( ) reported Thursday.

"These projects have been in development for a number of years," said AEA biomass project manager Devany Plentovich.

Plentovich made the announcement Wednesday during a presentation to the state Board of Forestry on the increase of biomass energy use in the state and new Environmental Protection Agency proposals affecting Alaska's biomass boilers.

Biomass boilers are built to heat one or more buildings. They can be stoked with cord wood, wood chips or wood pellets and have become popular with the rise of heating oil prices.

Pellets are usually from compressed wood scraps, a potential secondary product from southeast Alaska's sawmills.

In 2010, Sealaska Corp. installed the state's first large-scale pellet boiler at its Juneau headquarters.

"Pellets are very conceivable for Juneau," Plentovich said. "There's a growing interest in Juneau for biomass."

Plentovich said wood pellets are a local fuel while fuel oil has to be barged into Juneau.

The AEA is a state entity established by the Legislature in the 1970s to turn Alaska's natural resources into energy.

Information from: Juneau (Alaska) Empire,

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