US government invests $43m “to expand innovative uses of wood”

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The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) has announced it is investing more than $43 million (€39.8 million) to expand innovative uses of wood, including as an energy source, as a construction material and in manufacturing and processing input for wood products used in framing homes, making paper products and more.
The funds are being invested in 123 projects across the US through Community Wood Grants and Wood Innovations Grants - longstanding Forest Service grant programmes that promote innovation in renewable wood energy economies and in wood products.
Since 2015, the Wood Innovations and Community Wood Grant programmes have provided more than $93 million (€86.1 million) to 381 recipients.
One of the funded proposals under the Community Wood grant programme includes $1.2 million (€1.1 million) to commission a 3-megawatt thermally led wood energy facility operated by Hat Creek Bioenergy in Burney, California. This facility will provide renewable, biomass-based energy to the community and contribute to a diversified energy mix.
Other funded proposals under these USDA grant programmes expand and retrofit wood energy systems and wood products manufacturing facilities and develop markets for innovative uses of mass timber and renewable wood energy.
Projects also help to restore healthy forests and reduce wildfire risk, protecting communities, infrastructure and resources while curbing climate change.
Grant recipients include for-profit entities, state and local governments, tribes, school districts, community-based non-profit organisations, institutions of higher education, and special purpose districts.
“With crucial funding through the Investing in America agenda, the Biden-Harris Administration is committed to supporting the wood products and wood energy economies that are the lifeblood of so many people, especially for tribal and disadvantaged rural communities,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. “By building more sustainably, we are able to address the ongoing wildfire crisis and lower risks to our communities, while also creating new markets for the excess and hazardous wood we need to remove from our fire-prone western landscapes and creating jobs and wealth in rural communities along the way.”

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