CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. -- Construction is complete and six schools in southern Missouri are ready to operate their new biomass thermal energy heating systems.
The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) provided grants to the schools funded under the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act (ARRA) and administered by the U.S. Forest Service, according to MDC Forest Management Chief John Tuttle.
To celebrate completion of the projects, the public is invited to attend the following ribbon-cutting ceremonies:
Tuttle said the MDC is pleased to see construction completed.
“As these schools operate their boiler systems, they’ll use woody biomass from local and private forest land to heat their facilities, we’ll see the new technology help reduce dependence on fossil fuels, reduce energy costs, create or retain jobs and support healthy forests and the state’s forest industry,” Tuttle said.
He added that the Fuels for Schools projects will help create a stronger market for woody material historically considered waste, such as unhealthy or small-diameter trees and wood debris left from logging, which currently have little or no commercial value.
The projects support forest health, a key part of MDC’s mission, by making it economical to thin overcrowded forest stands and remove diseased and insect-infested trees, Tuttle said.
For more information on the Missouri Fuels for Schools program, go online to http://missourifuelsforschools.totorcd.org or contact Missouri Fuels for Schools Project Coordinator Peter Maki at 417-967-0676 or firstname.lastname@example.org.