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BERC Driving Growth of Vermont’s Modern Wood Heat Sector

Jul 07, 2014

The modern wood heating industry is thriving in Vermont. The state has seen continued growth in the use of renewable, sustainable energy resources and is considered a national-leader in community-scale wood heat projects.

Vermont schools and public buildings have contributed greatly to the success of the local modern wood heat industry. The first wood-chip heated school was established in the state nearly 30 years ago. Today 46 Vermont schools are heated with wood. Over 40 multifamily homes, college campus buildings, and businesses also have operational wood chip and bulk pellet heating systems. In addition to the widespread public sector adoption of biomass thermal energy, over 120 Vermont residences have installed bulk wood pellet fueled boiler systems. This expanse of projects sets Vermont apart and accounts for the highest concentration of community-scale, local biomass thermal installations in the U.S. Continued growth in the use of wood resources for heating is anticipated, particularly as the state aims to meet a goal of 90% renewable energy use by 2050.

The work of state agencies, non-profit organizations, businesses, and many passionate individuals has facilitated the development of a successful wood heating fuel economy in Vermont. BERC has played a key role in driving growth of the modern wood heating industry, catalyzing many innovative projects across the state.

In addition to facilitating in-state projects, BERC plays a large consultative role – providing expertise and sharing wood heat models for success with other states to further the development of biomass energy on a national scale. In an interview with Biomass Magazine, Adam Sherman, Manager of BERC at VEIC discussed BERC’s plans for a clean energy future, stating “Vermont will be a proving ground for the build-out of the biomass heating fuel market. What works here can be exported and adapted to the rest of the country.”

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