There are two studies getting underway in Cook County that will look at using locally harvested woody biomass to generate energy for local use. The Cook County Local Energy Project (CCLEP), along with the local Fire Wise Committee, has been actively pursuing funding to study biomass energy, and in recent months, they’ve seen results.
In July of this year, the Legislative-Citizen Commission on Minnesota Resources (LCCMR) recommended that the legislature provide $150,000 for a study to look at the long term supply and availability of woody biomass in the region, focusing on Cook County and Ely. This study is to begin next summer and will involve several partners, including the University of Minnesota. And last month, the Cook County Board of Commissioners granted a request for $113,500 to fund a Cook County bioenergy feasibility study. This study begins this fall and will run for two years.
CCLEP is looking to hire a local coordinator to assist with both studies. The position starts this month and is funded at 20 hours a week for two years, for a total of $40,000. Applications for the position are being accepted until November 6th. For more information, call Paul Nelson at 370-0656.