Rosser exhibits Washington Tilth Producer's Conference

11 Nov 2010

Rosser exhibits Washington Tilth Producer's Conference

7:00pm

End Date: 11/13/2010 - 7:00pm

Port Townsend, WA

Carey Rosser exhibited at this year's Washington Tilth Producer's Conference. Conference participants came from across the state of Washington and Oregon. Participants attended discussions on topics ranging from policy considerations to pollination. Conference exhibitors provided information on topics ranging from organic practices to water conservation and energy independence to success stories. Most participants were farmers, gardeners, or land managers in Washington who are interested in organic and sustainable practices. One interesting point of discussion was the new Port Townsend biomass facility. The Port Townsend Paper Mill proposed a 25 MW biomass co-generation plant. These co-generation plants are common to the pulp and paper industry, because their pre-existing infrastructure is compatible with generation requirements, and electricity is often more profitable than paper. However, the general public is skeptical about whether to classify this as "green energy." The IEE recommends biomass as a potential electricity generation option for farmers, however we recognize that there are many factors to consider. (Our definition of biomass includes projects that use plant or animal matter as fuel, but does not include burning fossil fuels). Farmers who opt to burn plant matter to generate electricity or heat choose not to use that plant matter as compost. This is a difficult choice, especially for organic farmers. Using biomass as a heat source has the highest potential for efficiency, because you eliminate the energy losses from converting heat to electricity. Overall, there is no uniform answer, but rather choice must be made on a case-by-case basis. If you're interested in exploring biomass as an option, check out www.agenergysolutions.org and for financial incentives, check out www.dsireusa.com.

Questions? Concerns? Contact Jennifer Thomas at jthomas@vermontlaw.edu