DCI will use the Community Wood Grant funds to install a renewable biomass cogeneration system to supply heat and electricity to its operation.
As part of a decades long initiative to reduce the environmental footprint of our work, starting last year we applied for and won a series of major clean energy grants to upgrade the renewable energy system the heats our factory, kilns, and offices.
The Forest Service Community Wood Grants
Most recently, we were awarded $706,000 from the USFS as part of the USDA’s initiative to fund grant proposals to develop and expand the use of wood products, strengthen emerging wood energy markets, and protect community forests.
The grant is part of the Forest Service’s Community Wood Energy and Wood Innovation Grant Program which provides funding to install thermally led community wood energy systems or to build innovative wood product manufacturing facilities.
This is the third—and largest—grant DCI has secured to fund a new high efficiency wood boiler to generate space heat, process heat, and electricity at its vertically integrated furniture plant.
The Forest Service grant also enables the company to recommission a steam engine generator to further reduce its dependence on the electrical grid. By powering the renewable energy system with its own wood waste, DCI is taking another step towards realizing its commitment to zero waste and carbon neutrality.
DCI Raises $1.5 Million Total
DCI also won a $250k grant from the USDA‘s Rural Energy for America Program, and a $500k grant from the New Hampshire Public Utilities Commission Renewable Energy Fund.
Along with the USFS Community Wood Grant, this brings the total funds raised for the renewable energy system to nearly $1.5 million.
DCI President Henry Kober projects that the new renewable biomass boiler will save DCI $390,000 annually in energy costs.
Addressing the Climate Crisis With a Market-Based Approach
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced the awards saying,
“To manage wildfires and address climate, we need to manage our forests. Today’s investments underpin USDA’s commitment to address the climate crisis with a market-based approach that begins to move us toward a clean energy economy, led by production of renewable fuel and energy and biobased products grown and manufactured here in the U.S.”
Forest Service Chief Vicki Christiansen added,
“We are placing emphasis on assisting wood energy facilities in economically challenged areas to retool or add advanced technology to replace systems that are inefficient or fueled by fossil fuels.”
On receiving the Forest Service grant, DCI President Henry Kober said,
“We are honored to receive grants from the USDA, USFS, and the Public Utility Commission of New Hampshire for the construction of a new biomass boiler to replace the existing wood fired boiler that has served us well, but is now forty years old. The new boiler will operate more efficiently and will reduce particulate emissions by 75%. In addition, it is designed to burn locally-sourced whole tree chips to supplement the wood waste from our furniture operations in Lisbon, further reducing our carbon footprint.”