Biomass program

Division of Forestry

Biomass Program

photo: hand full of wood chips

Biomass is living and recently dead biological material that can be used as fuel or for industrial production. DNR Forestry's Biomass Program deals specifically with woody biomass. Woody biomass includes logging residue (nonmerchantable tops and limbs left over from a commercial timber harvest, nonmerchantable small-diameter trees and stems, dead standing trees, and down logs), primary and secondary mill residue, dedicated energy crops, urban forest–clearing material, land-clearing material, and brushland material.

Biomass in the News

Biomass Crop Assistance Program (BCAP) is back and will open for business. On March 3rd 2015, USDA published the proposed final rule on BCAP in the Federal Register. BCAP provides up to $25 million each year in financial assistance to owners and operators of agricultural and non-industrial private forest land who wish to establish, produce, and deliver biomass feedstocks to a qualifying energy facility. The rule includes modifications to cost sharing, eligible types of biomass and other definitions. Stakeholders are encouraged to visit This link leads to an external review program details and provide comments during a 60-day public comment period. Comments are due by April 28, 2015. The full program will resume in 90 days on May 28, 2015. Additional information on application dates will be announced this spring. For more information on the program, visit the web at This link leads to an external site.and to learn more about the Farm Service Agency, visit This link leads to an external site.

MN to host International Biomass Conference and Heating the Midwest this April. This April 20-22 in Minneapolis, MN, the International Biomass Conference and Expo will take place. Now in its 8th year, the International Biomass Conference & Expo is expected to bring together more than 1,500 attendees, 220 exhibitors and 120 speakers from more than 40 countries. It is the largest gathering of biomass professionals and academics in the world. This year, Heating the Midwest will be co-located with the International Biomass Conference & Expo This link leads to an external the Minneapolis Convention Center.

Regulations for Residential Wood heaters Released. On February 3rd 2015, the EPA released its standards for residential wood heaters titled, New Source Performance Standards This link leads to an external site.(NSPS). These standards will improve air quality in communities where people burn wood for heat and will make new wood heaters significantly cleaner and more efficient to use. The New Source Performance Standards will not take effect until 60 days from publication in the federal register; compliance is anticipated for May 2015. For more information related to the recently announced final rule, please visit: EPA- Final New Source Performance Standards for Residential wood Heaters This link leads to an external site.

Branching Out — As demand for conventional forest products shifts, innovators eye new uses for Minnesota trees. Read more »

Minnesota has a new statewide team for supporting high efficiency wood energy systems. The Minnesota Statewide Wood Energy Team includes diverse organizations and individuals with expertise to support effective use of wood energy technologies. More information This link leads to an external site.

Wood-to-Energy Roadmap external linkcontains recommendations on creating a sustainable national supply of woody biomass developed by a team of scientific, academic, conservation, and forestry experts.

Researchers at the USDA Forest Service found that regions with the highest rates of forest product output have the lowest rates of deforestation and forest carbon emissions. In addition, regions with the highest rates of deforestation and forest carbon emissions tend to rank lowest in "industrial roundwood harvest." Full article external link

photo: processing logs for biomass

Biomass Business Development

Are you thinking about developing a woody biomass energy facility? Check out these resources:


  • The MN Business First Stop external link. Created by the Minnesota State Legislature, MN Business First Stop brings together a team of professionals from several state agencies, including the departments of Commerce, Transportation, Agriculture, Natural Resources, Employment and Economic Development, Pollution Control Agency, and Iron Range Resource's to help renewable energy and clean tech companies large and small with all aspects of project development, including feedstock identification, financing, environmental permitting, and site selection.
  • DNR's Utilization and Marketing Program prepares biomass supply analyses for individuals interested in developing a biomass facility. This program aims to help individuals make informed decisions regarding the most efficient and sustainable use of woody biomass resources.
  • DNR's Forestry Resource Assessment Unit pdf is available to help quantify, locate, describe, and value forest resources; provide inventory design, cruising, data management, and analysis; and develop short- and long-range management plans that include financial, logistical, social, spatial, and temporal constraints. The unit tailors analyses to clients' management objectives, stakeholder comments, and land base characteristics.