Pace Energy and Climate Center Produces Guide for Renewable and Sustainable Biomass Energy

WHITE PLAINS, NY, February 22, 2010 – Pace Law School’s Energy and Climate Center, in conjunction with the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), has produced an instructional guide for New York State developers pursuing biomass technology.

The Guide for Siting Small-Scale Biomass Projects in New York State is a manual for planning, siting and developing small- to medium-scale biomass facilities that produce electricity and heat.  The guidebook will help developers identify appropriate sites and technologies and navigate the regulatory process to gain project approval.

Biomass is any organic material such as wood, crops, or organic waste that can be used as a fuel for generating renewable energy.  Three types of biomass technologies are covered in the guidebook:  agricultural digesters, direct combustion and co-firing, and gasification.  The Pace Energy and Climate Center has long supported the idea that biomass fuels are a significant enough source of renewable energy to replace fossil fuels in power generation.

“Often, developers of smaller-scale distributed energy projects face significant barriers, including informational barriers.  The guidebook is intended to address this problem,” says Pace Energy and Climate Center Analyst, Todd Olinsky-Paul.  “It details the technical, environmental, regulatory and financial requirements of project development, so that prospective biomass project developers have a basic, step-by-step manual for how to proceed.”

The Guide serves as a roadmap for the development of smaller, on-site, biomass-based electricity production facilities.  Most such facilities use combined heat and power technology, meaning they are much more fuel-efficient and less polluting than the centralized, grid-based electricity production currently in place across New York State.

“Expanding New York’s use of our abundant biomass fuels will help improve our environment, increase our energy security, and create jobs in the new economy,” said Francis J. Murray Jr., President and CEO of NYSERDA.  “I applaud the Pace Energy and Climate Center for its leadership in helping to maximize the potential use of a renewable resource that will help New York achieve Governor David Paterson’s clean energy goals.”

The project manager for Pace Law School was Tom Bourgeois, Deputy Director of the Pace Energy and Climate Center.  Other participants included staff members Olinsky-Paul and Senior Analyst and Senior Policy Advisor Sam Swanson.

“Pace Energy and Climate Center is honored to have had the opportunity to develop this comprehensive tool to assist smaller-scale biomass-to-electricity project development in New York State,” said Bourgeois. “On behalf of our project partners we express our appreciation to NYSERDA and their Program Management team for the guidance, perspective, and expertise they provided during the course of this work.”

The production of this guidebook is the most recent endeavor between the Pace Energy and Climate Center and NYSERDA as part of an on-going partnership that includes research in areas such as combined heat and power (CHP or “cogen”), biofuels, wind energy, and emissions trading programs (“cap-and-trade”), among others.

For more information on biomass projects in New York State, or to see the full report, visit the guidebook on the Web.

Founded in 1976, Pace University School of Law has over 7,000 alumni throughout the country and the world and is consistently ranked among the nation’s top three programs in environmental law. It offers full- and part-time day and evening JD programs on its White Plains, NY, campus and offers the Master of Laws degree in Environmental Law, Real Estate Law and Comparative Legal Studies, and a Doctor of Laws in environmental law. The School of Law is part of Pace University, a comprehensive, independent, and diversified university with campuses in New York City and Westchester County.


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