Biomass program

Division of Forestry

Statewide Wood Energy Team

Statewide Wood Energy Team logo

Using wood for energy is a way to support local economies and forest management.

DNR received a $250,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to enhance the use of renewable wood energy systems throughout the state.

USFS forest service logoThe three-year grant will help open new markets for Minnesota's forest resources, promote economic vitality, and use renewable energy while reducing overall energy costs.

The primary objective is to identify a number of commercial and institutional buildings that now use fuel oil and propane for energy and replace those systems with innovative wood energy systems.

The DNR, in partnership with 22 private, state and federal organizations will use the grant to start the initial work that will hopefully result in the installation of wood energy systems in facilities not connected to natural gas grids.

The grant will enhance the work of the Statewide Wood Energy Team, whose members will work collaboratively to identify and evaluate wood energy systems for 15 to 20 commercial and institutional buildings such as community centers and nursing homes. This core team will also work to complete advanced engineering and financial analysis for six to 10 of those facilities.

The $250,000 grant is part of $1.1 million in grant funds the U.S. Agriculture Department awarded to five organizations across the nation to form statewide teams to stimulate development of wood energy projects.

photo: hand full of wood chipsInterested in Learning More

The Statewide Wood Energy Team is here to help Minnesota facilities and businesses move toward and realize the opportunity to cut energy costs, support local forest economies and advance clean energy development. We are gearing up to help 20 sites a year with preliminary evaluations. The State Wood Energy Team is a strong network of public and private partners that can help with a range of project needs. More information This is a PDF file. You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader to download it.

Explore the Community Biomass Handbook and Wood Energy Financial App at

More Resources

Coming Soon

Watch for a Request for Proposal (RFP) for individual facilities seeking financial assistance for a final feasibility study that evaluates installation of wood energy systems.
Initial eligibility criteria for facilities include:

  • Facility does not have access to natural gas
  • Scale of thermal demand 1-5mmBTU
  • Facility must have capacity to use forest resources for energy
  • Facility must commit to a 25 percent cost share for the final feasibility study

Modern biomass technology is an energy solution for a wide range of thermal applications.

Commercial, institutional and small industrial sites that don't have access to natural gas can control energy cost with biomass.

Minnesota Statewide Wood Energy Core Team:

  • Anna Dirkswager, Grant Manager, Biomass Consultant, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources
  • Mark Lindquist, Biofuel Program Manager, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources
  • Brian Brashaw, Director, University of Minnesota Duluth, Natural Resources Research Institute
  • Dennis Becker, Associate Professor, University of Minnesota
  • Lew McCreery, Biomass Coordinator, U.S. Forest Service, Northeastern Area State and Private Forestry

For more information, contact:

Anna Dirkswager
Biomass Consultant
DNR - Forestry
500 Lafayette Road
St. Paul, MN 55155


This program is funded in whole or in part through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Forest Service. USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer. The information contained herein creates no warranty either express or implied. The USDA Forest Service, its officers, employees, and project partners assume no liability for its contents or use thereof. Use of this information is at the sole discretion of the user.