From July through September this year, ten workshops will be held across a ten county region to discuss how and why grasses can be harvested and turned into heating fuel. For a relatively small expenditure, farmers, rural businesses and people interested in using a renewable energy source can use grasses to meet their heating needs.
These workshops will feature two 2-hour sessions, both morning and afternoon. Sessions will consist of an indoor presentation on how grass pellets are made, types of equipment needed, costs, results which can be expected, and potential government support available to help with equipment acquisition. Presentation will take about 60-80 minutes.
Demonstrations will then move outdoors, showing participants pellets actually being made using equipment which can be purchased locally. This demonstration will take less than an hour. There is no charge to attend, with registration beforehand encouraged at http://www.pnercd.org/.
Upcoming workshops at local locations include: Nescopeck State Park on July 23, 1137 Honey Hole Road, Drums, and The Lands at Hillside Farm on August 13 at 65 Hillside Road, Shavertown, PA 18708
Attendees will leave with an understanding of the grass pellet process, familiarization with the equipment used, potential costs and information on how to get grants and/ or loans through the REAP program of the US Department of Agriculture.
The chief presenter will be Will Brandau of Woodcrest Farm in Wapwallopen, Luzerne County. Will has been making grass energy pellets for his own use since 2006. His practical experience in this field, as well as his personal efforts to advance the use of warm-weather grasses for energy, make him uniquely qualified to present these sessions.
“We are very excited by these workshops because we can show farmers, rural businesses and other interested people an economical way to make grass pellets which will heat their buildings with a minimal initial expenditure,” said George Kauffman, Executive Director of the Council. “And, assistance is available from the US Department of Agriculture through the REAP program which could provide grants and loans to help acquire the equipment. All of this will be explained at our sessions.”