Accelerating the Development of Vermont's Green Economy

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Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund

Grantee: Renewable Energy Resources

Grantee: Renewable Energy Resources

Renewable Energy Resources

Grantee: John Bootle
Location: Bennington, Vermont; Bennington County

Renewable Energy Resources, Inc. (RER) is a biomass energy company with the mission to produce thermal energy from grass biomass. Grass biomass can be produced locally, normally within a 30-mile radius of a customer’s facility, thus providing a low-cost, sustainable fuel supply with the benefit that the money will stay in the community to create local jobs. RER’s target markets are those who prefer biomass for direct heating and combined heat and cogeneration of electricity. This market represents one third of the energy used in the Northeast USA.

RER provides customers with a complete fuel service from “field to flue”:

  • RER works with business, institutions, schools and hospitals in the northeast USA and Canada to provide biomass fuel.
  • RER works with farmers to establish grass biomass standards and long term contracts to purchase grass biomass in order to ensure customers have long term fuel reliability.
  • RER compresses the grass biomass into pellets for domestic use or briquettes for commercial heating applications. RER has developed our own processing equipment using patented technology developed during the last two years.
  • RER delivers the grass biomass to the customer’s facility and manages the waste ash removal.
  • Additionally RER offers consulting services and process equipment leasing services to customers who may wish to establish a grass biomass business in their own local region.

RER is using a 2011 VSFJ/Vermont Bioenergy Initiative grant in order to: 

  1. Develop farm standards and best practices for grass biomass production to improve conversion to fuel products and provide guidance for farmers and buyers.
  2. Design and build a mobile briquette machine. The company will prepare detailed fabrication drawings, and then supervise the construction and assembly of the mobile briquette machine.
  3. Source grass biomass in Vermont. RER will first work with local farms, including Bristol, Bennington, and Basin Harbor to source mulch hay and switchgrass for initial demonstration project. The company will also develop plans to transition from low production mulch hay to high yield biomass energy crops.
  4. Produce grass briquettes for testing in institutional settings. Operating under real load conditions, RER will use the mobile machine to produce grass briquettes for testing in the heating systems at Basin Harbor Resort, Sugarbush Ski Area, and Brattleboro Union School. The tests will inform RER and the institutional facilities as to the feasibility of grass briquettes, their burn characteristics, and boiler system operations and maintenance.
  5. Develop reports and presentations that can be used to show the benefits of growing grass to the agricultural community. Technical aspects of grass combustion will be shared with biomass fuel end-users. Together, these approaches will help build supply and demand for grass biomass within the state of Vermont.

Further information: John Bootle, (802) 379-8553 or Adam Dantzscher, (802) 578-8347.