Pellets available to sugarmakers

MONTPELIER – The Clean Energy Development Fund (CEDF) at the Public Service Department recently announced the availability of an incentive program for Vermont’s sugar makers to install pellet-fueled evaporators. The program will offer grants up to $20,000 for the installation of evaporators that use bulk wood pellets or wood chips as the fuel.
“Vermont has a rich history of using wood in our sugar houses, and this incentive builds on that history, providing our larger sugar makers a way to still use wood but with the ease of an automatic system” said Governor Phil Scott. “This is an example of my Administration continuing to focus on ways that we can build our local economy while also increasing the use of clean energy.”
The cash grants will be available to all Vermont-based sugar makers and will be based on the size of the evaporators installed — up to a maximum of $20,000.
“We currently have incentives to encourage Vermonter’s to switch to local pellets for heating, but we heard from maple syrup producers that such incentives couldn’t be applied to evaporators, so we created this separate incentive just for sap evaporators” said Andrew Perchlik, Director of the CEDF. Perchlik continued that the CEDF is focused on building demand for local pellets because “we see tremendous economic growth potential in the bulk pellet and woodchip heating sector, directly connected with the automated heating systems but also in support of the forest products sector that is vital to Vermont.”
Commenting on the new incentive Public Service Department Commissioner June Tierney said, “I’m pleased to see our Clean Energy Development Fund finding creative ways to support Vermont’s maple businesses to reduce fossil fuel use with a local low-cost clean energy source.”
The PSD’s Clean Energy Development Fund will administer the incentive though the State’s Small Scale Renewable Energy Incentive Program with the help of the Renewable Energy Resource Center (RERC). Applications and details for the evaporator incentive are available on the RERC’s web site: RERC-VT.org
The program will be open on a first come, first serve basis starting June 30th. Program information can be found on the Public Service Department’s CEDF web page at: publicservice.vermont.gov/content/funding-opportunities-projects.

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