Nebraska Forest Service Celebrates National Bioenergy Day with New Bioenergy Project

October 19, 2015

Lincoln, Neb. — The Nebraska Forest Service is one of 60 organizations across the country that will celebrate National Bioenergy Day on Wednesday, Oct. 21.  In honor of the third annual event, the Nebraska Forest Service, will issue a TREES Heat Nebraska grant to the City of South Sioux City for the purchase and installation of a woody biomass energy system at the Scenic Park Campground.

The wood energy system will be Nebraska’s first system to utilize waste wood and tree debris from the city’s tree collection program to produce heat and electricity for a number of buildings at the campground.

“This project represents a significant step forward for community renewable energy and urban wood use within the state,” said Adam Smith, NFS forest products utilization team leader. “Community forests are constantly being affected by extreme weather events or tree pests and disease, leading to a significant amount of tree debris being taken to the landfill. Utilizing this waste material as a fuel source for producing heat and electricity for facilities will provide environmental and economic benefits, as well as a sense of pride for the community.”

Rod Koch, mayor of South Sioux City noted,” I am extremely excited that our community is taking a lead in providing a biomass system to produce electricity.  In this joint effort with the Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality and the Nebraska Forestry Service; we will be providing a super training project for our students and our community; and providing a useful project.  I especially want to thank Tami Bailey and Gene Maffit for their leadership on this project.”

To celebrate the new project and National Bioenergy day, the Nebraska Forest Service along with the City of South Sioux City, Nebraska, the Department of Environmental Quality and Papio-Missouri River Natural Resource District are inviting area citizens, organizations and government leaders to learn more about bioenergy at an event in South Sioux City on Oct. 21. The event will be held at the Scenic Park Campground, from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.

The event will include speakers from South Sioux City, the Nebraska Forest Service and the Department of Environmental Quality discussing the role of bioenergy in communities. There will also be demonstrations of community wood debris chipping and heat and electricity generation using wood.

The need for expanding the opportunities available for communities to utilize community wood waste is becoming increasingly more important due to the likely spread of the emerald ash borer to Nebraska’s communities within the near future.

For more information about the event or the TREES Heat Nebraska program, contact Adam Smith at the Nebraska Forest Service at 402-472-1276.

Adam Smith
Nebraska Forest Service