Leaders of major energy and landowner organizations in Maine will participate in a statewide biomass and biofuels conference to be held over the next few days in Bangor.
Sponsored by the Maine Association of Conservation Districts, the “Towards Energy Independence for Maine” convention will provide an overview of biomass technologies, including the potential for canola, switchgrass, poplar and willow to be converted into fuel.
The public is invited to attend the event, which begins at 12:30 p.m. today and will continue through Friday, Sept. 22, at the Bangor Ramada Inn. A complete agenda is available at the Maine Association of Conservation Districts Web site: www.maineswcds.org/
The conference aims to create awareness, particularly among small and mid-sized farmers, including woodlot owners, of existing and potential opportunities for the production of biofuels from biodiesel to ethanol.
Successful models from other states and regions will be presented, such as the Fuels for Schools program in Vermont and farmer-owned ethanol plants in the Midwest.
Researchers from the University of Maine Forest Bioproducts Research Center, the Fractionation Development Center, the Maine Energy Investment Corporation and Maine’s Office of Energy Independence will address the potential for biomass to meet Maine’s energy needs.
“This conference is a call to action, and all persons are welcome regardless of their level of expertise,” said Bill Bell, executive director of the Maine Association of Conservation Districts. “Maine has the land base and forest resources to be a leader in this vital and growing sector of the economy.”