Alaska Wood Energy Biomass Workshop this week


Residents and officials from close to twenty urban and rural communities from around the state are in town this week for five days of presentations and field trips on the subject of wood energy.
This week's Alaska Wood Energy Biomass Workshop is being held at the Alpine Lodge and a number of other venues.
Participants will also travel to see the wood–powered boilers used to heat public buildings in Tanana.
The village of Tanana, began investing in wood boilers to reduce heating costs in 2006.
According to Tanana City Manager Bear Ketzler, the city uses wood boilers for heat and hot water in its washeteria, fire station and school.
The wood fuel takes the place of 20–thousand gallons of diesel the city normally would use, but with some 340–thousand gallons still burned per year, expensive diesel remains the main fuel used for heating and generating electricity.
Ketzler told us "The community of Tanana put on this big training to teach the other villages to give them an opportunity to learn what we've learned learn from our mistakes and to see if there's any applicability back to their communities.  And after hearing today from all the participants, we're only at five fifty a gallon for diesel heating in Tanana, but we've had people here talking that they're paying as much as 7.50 to 9 dollars and even over 10 dollars a gallon.
Again, the conference runs through this week at different venues.
News Center 11's Darryl Lewis will have more on this story this weekend during the Saturday Edition of the Fairbanks Evening News and News Center Final.