Pittsburgh, PA. Ernst Conservation Seeds, is involved in an innovative effort to create energy from biomass through high-energy switchgrass and other warm season grasses.
Ernst Conservation Seeds, a three generation family business based in Meadville, PA, will present its new program at the upcoming Energy from Biomass and Waste (EBW) Expo & Conference on September 25-27, 2007 in Pittsburgh, PA. The program will help implement renewable energy solutions that will decrease America's dependence on fossil fuels and stimulate economic growth.
'We are aggressively pursuing the information, technology, and feedstock necessary to make the generation of heat and power from warm season native plants a reality,' says Daniel P. Arnett, Biomass Coordinator for Ernst Conservation Seeds.
Following a number of projects evaluating different types of feedstock and machinery, the company now plans the construction and operation of a large-scale grass/biomass densification facility in Crawford County. This facility will supply grass biomass pellets to residential and commercial heating and power markets in western Pennsylvania and beyond. The facility will serve as definitive proof of concept, and will be able to be replicated across Pennsylvania.
Harvesting energy domestically from clean resources is just one positive aspect of this venture. At the same time, economic growth is brought back home. Instead of importing increasingly expensive fossil fuels from places with little consideration for the poor work conditions and exploitation of natural resources, bio-energy offers the chance to create an industry that is financially viable and environmentally sustainable.
Growing energy crops on American land means creating jobs in land cultivation, processing biomass materials, plant manufacturing and maintenance, and distribution of the fuels. It also means energy-independence, reduction of CO2 emissions, and cost-saving potential for users of heat, power, and vehicle fuels.
'The EBW Expo & Conference is about converting biomass and waste materials to value,' says Dr. Ines Freesen, Managing Director of trade show organizer Freesen & Partner GmbH. 'Ernst Conservation Seeds is a very good example of how this can be achieved.'
EBW is sponsored by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection; Green Power, Inc.; West Penn Power Sustainable Energy Fund, Inc.; Herbert, Rowland & Grubic, Inc.; The Pennsylvania State University; and media sponsor Biomass Magazine. The event is also supported by the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture; Steel City Biofuels; and the Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany.