NNY Landowners Could Grow Willow To Sell For Energy Fuel
Energy from willows is moving out of the experimental stage and into commercial production in New York.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture invested $4.3 million this year to encourage the growth of shrub willow as a renewable energy fuel in northern New York.
Landowners must have at least 100 acres and a contract to sell the chipped willow to energy producer ReEnergy, which has three power plants in New York, including one at Fort Drum.
Development of shrub willow for bioenergy began in Sweden in the mid-'70s.
New York researchers started breeding it as a fuel crop in the mid-'90s.
Before it could become viable for large-scale production, researchers had to develop varieties that were resistant to beetles and diseases and provided high yields.
Numerous varieties are commercially available through a nursery in Fredonia.
Sunday, February 1, 2015, Watertown, NY
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