Biomass Energy Technology Resources



This page starts out by showing you the most recent content from across the CERTs website. Jump to detailed resources.

Biomass energy comes from any renewable organic matter (trees, plants, residues) that can be burned to generate heat or electricity. See also biofuels and digesters.

Biomass Energy Blog Posts

wood pellets!
Fritz Ebinger
Mon, 12/03/2018 - 12:29pm
The U.S. Forest Service recently announced $8 million in grant funding available for applied research projects that expand wood product and wood...
Photos from the 2018 CERTs Conference
Lissa Pawlisch
Fri, 04/06/2018 - 12:54pm
Over 500 Minnesotans attended the seventh statewide CERTs Conference, connecting to build a clean energy future in their communities! March 28-29...
Seven communities won 2018 Clean Energy Community Awards
MN Dept. of Commerce
Tue, 04/03/2018 - 2:15pm
Seven Minnesota communities are recipients of the 2018 Clean Energy Community Awards coordinated by the Minnesota Department of Commerce and the...

Biomass Energy Case Studies

The Headwaters Regional Development Commission (HRDC) recently used grant funding from CERTs to conduct a community survey in Beltrami County,...
West Central Minnesota has been the hub of much excitement with the beginning of the Youth Energy Summit (YES!) program, which engages teams of youth...
With a vast agricultural industry and resources spread over fields and acres, how do you measure the true renewable energy resources of Minnesota?...
Biomass Energy

Funding & Financing Opportunities

Funding & Financing Opportunities
There are various opportunities for funding and financing any clean energy project. CERTs offers a list of funding opportunities currently available in the fields of energy and the environment. Start exploring now! Learn more

Planning your own projects?

Check out project planning resources
The success of any clean energy project depends on how you plan and utilize community, organizational, and financial resources. This is a place for you and your community members to learn from what others have done and strategize about how to accomplish your own clean energy project goals. Learn more.

CERTs Supported Projects

See CERTs-supported projects
CERTs awards Seed Grants to community groups for energy efficiency and clean energy projects. See projects or learn more about grants.

Find Companies

Find companies with the Clean Energy Project Builder
The Clean Energy Project Builder is an online directory that will help you find companies to help you plan, implement, and manage your clean energy projects. It’s also a great place to just learn more about companies serving the solar and wind energy industries in Minnesota. You can even save a portfolio of folks to follow up with! Check it out

Detailed Biomass Energy Resources

General Information

Biomass FAQCERTs

Biomass ResourcesU.S. Department of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy

Biomass FAQsRenewable Energy Policy Project
Included on the Renewable Energy Policy Project website that covers a broad range of biomass information from feedstock descriptions to prices to associated environmental impacts.

Biomass Energy Resources and InformationFresh Energy
Extensive resources with a Midwest focus.

Minnesota Renewable Energy IncentivesState Energy Office
A cheat sheet of Minnesota incentives for renewable energy projects, including those that involve biomass.

Power Plant Facility Siting & PermitingMinnesota Public Utilities Commission (PUC)
The MN Public Utilities Commission has responsibility for the site and route permitting of certain energy facilities, including electric power plants generating more than 50 megawatts.

Research & Publications

Transportation Biofuels in the United States: An UpdateThe Minnesota Project, August 2009
Transportation Biofuels in the United States is intended as a tool to provide an overview of the current status of major developments in the biofuels industry. The Minnesota Project highlights recent changes in biofuels production processes, biomass development, and federal level policies such as the Biomass Crop Assistance Program. They also review unavoidable issues including the food versus fuel debate and the difficult indirect land use change debate.

Energy from Woody Biomass: A Review of Harvesting Guidelines and a Discussion of Related ChallengesDovetail Partners, July 2009
A cornerstone of responsible biomass energy development is the establishment of guidelines for biomass harvesting and utilization that fully consider short- and long-term impacts on the local and regional environment and communities. In some regions, including several U.S. states, guidelines have been developed for removal of woody biomass from forested areas; similarly, guidelines for removal of agricultural residues, in anticipation of commercialization of cellulosic ethanol and other fuels, have been developed. This report provides a brief overview of forest biomass harvesting guidelines and their importance in the United States and other regions of the world.

Biomass Harvesting of Native Grasslands in West Central Minnesota: A Production Scale Pilot StudyJoel Tallaksen, University of Minnesota West Central Research and Outreach Center, December 2007
This pilot study was undertaken to examine the feasibility of biomass harvesting using commonly available agricultural harvesting equipment and techniques. Attention was paid to the technical, logistical, and economic hurdles that exist in harvesting native grasslands in typical West Central Minnesota conservation areas.

Biomass Utilization Study for Aitkin County, MNAgricultural Utilization Research Institute, June 2009
The Agricultural Utilization Research Institute (AURI), in conjunction with the Center for Producer Owned Energy, Aitkin County Land Development, and the Aitkin County Economic Development/Forest Industry Coordinator, is exploring the opportunity to utilize biomass resources available in Aitkin County to generate renewable energy. The development of a biomass to bioenergy production system will drive economic and create jobs in the area. The overall objective of the study, prepared by BBI International, is to determine the volume of potentially accessible biomass in Aitkin County that is not already being harvested for other uses, and compare the economic feasibility of various technologies available to convert the harvestable biomass materials into renewable energy products.

AURI Fuels InitiativeAgricultural Utilization Research Institute
A comparative guide for agricultural renewable fuels.

Energy from BiomassLoni Kemp, The Minnesota Project
This article details the three most popular Minnesota energy crops (corn, alfalfa, and hybrid poplar) that could be as biomass fuels.

Biomass for Electricity GenerationU.S. Department of Energy
This article details biomass feedstock supply curves – how much the various feedstocks cost, the likely supply quantity, and how much it would cost to transport them – and provides predictions regarding energy generation potential.

A New Lease on Life for Marginal Farmland: Convergence of prairie restoration with biofuel productionBorsari, B. and Onwueme, I., June 2008
The prairie ecosystem that occupied most of the North American continent has been mostly converted into agricultural farmland. The looming global scarcity of fossil fuels has spurred interest in producing ethanol from corn (Zea mays) but legitimate objections remain to the idea of supporting this vision. The purpose of this study was to initiate a prairie restoration on marginal soil of a 16.2-hectare farm in southeastern Minnesota and to determine which restoration procedure (only native grass species versus a mixture of grasses and forbs) was most effective for the establishment of prairie on the land that may yield biomass for biofuels.

A Landowner’s Guide to Carbon Sequestration Credits – MN Terrestrial Carbon Sequestration Initiative, February 2008
This guide offers a path for local landowners to earn additional income while helping diminish adverse effects of global climate change through implementation of carbon sequestration and other stackable incentives.

Short Rotation Woody Crops: A Role for the State of MinnesotaCenter for Rural Policy and Development, Minnesota State University, Mankato
This policy paper focuses on producing short rotation woody crops, and discusses economic and environmental benefits and barriers associated with growing woody crops on agricultural lands.

Renewable Energy from Farms: Building on the Principles of Sustainable Agriculture to Achieve Sustainable EnergyCarl Nelson, The Minnesota Project
This is a position paper of the Midwest Sustainable Agriculture Working Group, June 2002.

Biomass Research and Development InitiativeUS DOE, USDA, and others
BR&Di is the multi-agency effort to coordinate and accelerate all Federal biobased products and bioenergy research and development.

Burning Shelled Corn as FuelPenn State
A wealth of information on this topic.

Woody Biomass Harvesting & Utilization Workshop PresentationsUniversity of Minnesota Extension

Feedstock Resources

Minnesota Biomass Exchange
This website, from the Agricultural Utilization Research Institute (AURI), Clean Energy Resource Teams (CERT), the Minnesota Department of Commerce, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, the University of Minnesota, and the Green Institute connects buyers and sellers of biomass with online listings.

Biomass Feedstock Availability in the United StatesBioenergy Feedstock Information Network
A gateway to a wealth of biomass feedstock information resources from the U.S. Department of Energy, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Idaho National Laboratory, National Renewable Energy Laboratory, and other research organizations.

Forestry Inventory and Map MakerUS Forest Service
This tool allows users to break down forestry inventory information by county. Users can query for inventories ranging from area of timberland or forestland to number of live trees on timberland or from volume of sawtimber on timberland to all live biomass on forestland.

Minnesotans building a clean energy future


    CERTs Partners:

Minnesota Department of Commerce University of Minnesota Regional Sustainable Development Partnerships and Extension Great Plains Institute Southwest Regional Development Commission