Conference to focus on community biomass projects

Karen Petersen photo
Jon Fitzpatrick loads firewood in the boiler at the Coffman Cove school. The school is part of an Oct. 8 preconference tour of Prince of Wales Island biomass projects.

Debbie Carter

The Alaska Wood Energy Conference Oct. 9-11 in Ketchikan will focus on community use of wood biomass.

The conference will highlight the success stories of Alaska communities that have implemented wood biomass projects. Other topics will include the sustainability and environmental impacts of biomass harvest and production, new biomass technologies, biobrick fabrication and micro pellet mills. Sessions will also include discussions on economic and community effects and biomass project financing.

The conference is expected to draw public officials, community leaders, agency representatives, scientists and individuals interested in biomass potential. U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski will welcome participants by video and U.S. Sen. Mark Begich will participate, by Skype, during a Southeast biomass panel Oct. 10. U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack will provide a videotaped message during lunch.

Participants who arrive Oct. 9 may tour the Ketchikan Library boiler and the Tongass Forest Enterprise Pellet Plant.

See conference and registration links at The early registration fee of $150 has been extended until Oct. 4. Registration will be capped at 112 participants. The conference may be viewed online for a $50 registration.

The UAF Cooperative Extension Service is coordinating the conference, which occurs every 18 months. Other major sponsors include the Alaska Energy Authority and UAF’s Alaska Center for Energy and Power.

ADDITIONAL CONTACTS: Robert Gorman, Sitka Extension agent, at 907-747-9413 or via email at