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Heating the Midwest

The Midwest relies heavily on fossil energy for heating homes and businesses. Heating the Midwest is a network of thermal biomass advocates working to increase awareness and usage of renewable biomass for heat, which has the potential to greatly reduce the region’s dependence on propane and fuel oil for thermal energy.

Guided by a bold Vision, Heating the Midwest proposes that by 2025, 15% of all thermal energy in the Midwest come from renewable energy sources – 10% from sustainably produced biomass and 5% from solar thermal and geothermal sources. This shift in thermal energy sources has great potential to produce economic, social, and environmental benefits for the Midwest.

Co-located with the 2017 International Biomass Conference & Expo, being held in Minneapolis, Minnesota, Heating the Midwest is a compelling combination of the right topics being discussed at the right place, at the right time.

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General Registration

If you have any questions on registration or rates please give us a call at 866-746-8385.

Heating the Midwest Registration*$299.00

Add-on to Biomass Conference$249.00

*Price includes admission to all 3 pre-conference events, and food and beverage, to the International Biomass Conference & Expo's Grand Opening & Welcome Reception




Monday, April 10

7:30 am – 8:30 amBreakfast
Room 101 BI
8:30 am – 8:45 amWelcome
Room 101 H
Brian Brashaw, Program Manager-Forest Products Marketing Unit, Forest Products Laboratory
8:45 am – 10:30 amTechnical Session
Room 101 H
Where We Stand: The State of the Biomass Thermal Energy Industry in the State, Region and Country
Advocacy for the biomass thermal industry happens on many fronts. This panel will provide attendees with an opportunity to hear how industry advocates are working to impress upon state and federal policymakers and regulatory agencies the impact a growing biomass thermal sector can have on rural jobs, sound forest management and climate goals. Of particular interest will be a discussion about how the industry best promotes itself to the first new federal administration it has seen in nearly a decade.

Moderator: T.J. Morice, Managing Member, TNT Ventures LLC
  • Gregg Mast, Executive Director, Clean Energy Economy Minnesota
    The State of Biomass Thermal: How the Industry is Positioned for Growth in Minnesota
  • Brian Brashaw, Program Manager-Forest Products Marketing Unit, Forest Products Laboratory
    Winning their Hearts and Minds: Why the NFPA was Formed and What it Means for Biomass Thermal Stakeholders
  • Jeff Serfass, Executive Director, Biomass Thermal Energy Council
    Federal Policy Update: Pitching Biomass Thermal to a New Administration
10:30 am – 11:00 amNetworking Break
Room 101 BI
11:00 am – 12:30 pmTechnical Session
Room 101 H
Unique Biomass Thermal Energy Deployments in the Upper Midwest
For the biomass thermal industry to continue to grow the projects that have survived the project development gauntlet and were built and commissioned must be celebrated for their accomplishment and closely examined for the lessons they can deliver. This panel will feature the case studies of over a half dozen biomass thermal projects including a community center, plans for an industrial deployment at a wood pellet plant and installments at a poultry barn and an operating greenhouse. These projects can and should inform the roster of thermal projects within the region working to find traction and get built.

Moderator: Chris Wiberg, Manager of Biomass Energy Services, Timber Products Inspection
  • Bruno Zagar, Environmental Specialist & Energy Project Manager, Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa
    Sawyer Community Center Wood Chip Storage, Handling and District Heating
  • David Mackett, Community Development, Whitesand First Nation
    The Community Sustainability Initiative - Ontario’s First Combined Heat and Power Project: Replacing Diesel Generated Electricity and Building Economic Opportunity through a Biomass Combined Heat and Power Plant and an Integrated Wood Pellet Plant
  • Dalia El Tawy, Senior Marketing Manager, Siemens Energy Inc.
    Combined Heat and Power Solutions to Heat the Midwest
  • Kevin Hennessy, Bioenergy Manager, Minnesota Department of Agriculture
    Biomass Thermal Grant Projects in Minnesota
12:30 pm – 1:30 pmNetworking Lunch
Room 101 BI
1:30 pm – 3:00 pmTechnical Session
Room 101 H
Taking All Comers: How Biomass Thermal is Gaining Traction in Unexpected Applications
Biomass thermal is not likely to compete head-to-head with natural gas to become a heating solution for a significant percentage of the homes in the Midwest anytime soon. Recognizing the economics are currently stacked against them in that application, biomass thermal professionals are increasingly turning their attention to unique opportunities to deploy technologies in applications where traditional thermal sources are either impractical or not available. Each presentation will make the argument that plenty of opportunity can be found outside the standard thermal applications for those willing to look.

Moderator: Gregg Mast, Executive Director, Clean Energy Economy Minnesota
  • Eric Rund, Owner/Operator, Rund Farms - Green Flame Energy
    Cheap Chipped Biomass Beats LP Gas
  • Alan Doering, Sr. Scientist-CoProduct, Agricultural Utilization Research Institute (AURI)
    Biomass for Cooling System Technologies: A Feasibility Study
  • Jamie Stephen, Managing Director, TorchLight Bioresources
    Biomass for Residential and Commercial Heating in Off-Grid Communities
  • Fritz Ebinger, Clean Energy Resource Teams - Rural Energy Development, University of Minnesota Extension - RSDP/CERTs
    Thermal Biomass for Commercial Poultry Production
3:00 pm – 3:30 pmNetworking Break
Room 101 BI
3:30 pm – 5:00 pmTechnical Session
Room 101 H
The Importance of System Design in Biomass Thermal Energy Projects
This panel will also rely heavily on case studies, however the focus of the discussion will center on principles of system design in biomass thermal projects. With presentations focusing on everything from feedstock availability to stack emissions, attendees can expect a thorough soup-to-nuts examination of the design lessons the industry continues to accumulate.

Moderator: Brian Brashaw, Program Manager-Forest Products Marketing Unit, Forest Products Laboratory
  • Tom Wilson, President, Wilson Engineering Services
    Biomass Hot Water District Heating System Design
  • Stacy Cook, Vice President/General Manager, Koda Energy
    Hazard Mitigation in Fuel System Design from an Operator that’s Been There
  • Michael Marquis, Project Manager, Enegis LLC
    The Biomass Energy Analytical Model
  • Bruce Jones, Director, MnCAR
    Next Generation Biomass Thermal Energy Grant Emission Testing Program
5:00 pm - 6:30 pmGrand Opening & Welcome Reception for the International Biomass Conference & Expo
Exhibit Hall B

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