Program Description

The U.S. Forest Service (Forest Service) requests proposals to substantially expand and accelerate wood energy and wood products markets throughout the United States to support forest management needs on National Forest System and other forest lands.

The purpose of this Request for Proposals is to address the following:

• Agricultural Act of 2014 (Public Law 113-79).

• Rural Revitalization Technologies (7 U.S.C. 6601).

• The nationwide challenge of disposing of hazardous fuels and other wood residues from National Forests and other lands in a manner that supports wood energy and wood products markets.

The goals of the Wood Innovations Program are to:

• Reduce hazardous fuels and improve forest health on National Forest System and other forest lands.

• Reduce the costs of forest management on all land types.

• Promote economic and environmental health of communities.

Equipment purchases, basic research, and construction will NOT be funded under this funding opportunity. Funding will be awarded in two separate categories: 1) Expansion of Wood Energy Markets and 2) Expansion of Wood Products Markets.

 

Grant Category 1: EXPANSION OF WOOD ENERGY MARKETS The intent of this category is to stimulate, expand, or support wood energy markets that depend on forest residues or forest byproducts generated from all land types. Preference will be given to projects that make use of wood generated from National Forest System and other forest lands with high wildfire risk.

The most competitive proposals will generate immediate and measurable on-the-ground results or substantially stimulate immediate adoption of wood energy. Proposals incorporating technologies that are not commercially proven will not be competitive under this category.

Grant Category 1 is separated into two main project types:

1. Wood Energy Markets Expand or support wood energy markets that use wood residues for heating, cooling, or electricity production. Projects can include, but are not limited to, the following:

 

  1. Develop a cluster of wood energy projects in a geographic area or specific sector (e.g., prisons, hospitals, universities, manufacturing sector, or industrial sector).
  2. Evaluate and recommend a commercial, institutional, or industrial sector most suitable for wood energy that has not traditionally used wood for heating, cooling, or electricity.
  3. Conduct a feasibility assessment of several municipalities that would be ideal candidates for constructing a district wood energy system for heating, cooling, and electricity.
  4. Develop innovative financing or new funding opportunities for wood energy development.
  5. Overcome market barriers and stimulate expansion of wood energy in the commercial sector.
  6. Establish a Statewide Wood Energy Team that provides technical, financial, and outreach assistance for wood energy projects. Example team activities include, but are not limited to, holding public workshops, conducting prefeasibility and preliminary engineering assessments, offering training for architects and engineers to scope and design wood energy systems, and identifying financing opportunities.

 

Note: You can view the activities of existing Statewide Wood Energy Teams at http://na.fs.fed.us/werc/swet/. Proposals to establish a Statewide Wood Energy Team in the following States will not be considered because a team is already in place: AK, AZ, CA, CO, ID, KY, MA, MI, MN, MT, NH, NM, NY, OR, PA, VI, VT, WA, WI, and WV.

 

The above list of examples is not exhaustive and merely illustrates the types of projects that can be considered.

 

                2. Wood Energy Projects Complete engineering designs, cost analyses, permitting, or other requirements that are necessary in the later stages of wood energy project development to secure financing.

Examples of prior funded projects can be viewed at http://www.na.fs.fed.us/werc/w2e/.

 

Note: Preference will be given to proposals that bundle or address multiple wood energy projects. Projects in early project scoping or planning that need preliminary analyses, pre-feasibility assessments, or other assistance that is typical in the early phases of project development will not be competitive.

 

Grant Category 2: EXPANSION OF WOOD PRODUCTS MARKETS The intent of this category is to promote markets that create or expand the demand for non-energy based wood products. Preference will be given to projects that support commercial building markets or other markets that use innovative wood products. Wood energy projects will not be considered under this category because those projects can apply for funding under Grant Category 1. Demonstration projects and applied research will be considered, but applicants are strongly encouraged to first consult with their designed Forest Service Regional Biomass Coordinator to determine whether such projects will be competitive.

 

Projects can include, but are not limited to, the following:

1. Develop training or perform outreach about innovative wood construction (e.g., structural roundwood or cross-laminated timbers).

2. Develop a regional or national strategy to stimulate market demand for wood technology in targeted sectors, especially commercial construction.

3. Establish statewide wood utilization teams that focus on using wood in support of Forest Service Regional/Area priorities and State Forest Action Plans. Proposals to establish a Statewide Wood Utilization Team in the following States will not be considered because a team is already in place: MN, MT, OR, SC, and WI.

4. Facilitate establishment of new building codes to support expanded use of wood materials.

5. Showcase the quantified environmental and economic benefits of using wood as a green building material in an actual commercial building and the projected benefits achieved if replicated across the United States based on commercial construction market trends.

6. Develop a carbon trading market protocol for wood building materials that accounts for the fossil carbon offset from using wood.

7. Develop manufacturing capacity and markets for wood products that support forest ecosystem restoration.

8. Complete engineering designs, cost analyses, permitting, or other requirements for the final stages of commercial construction projects that use wood as a primary building material.

 

The above list of examples is not exhaustive and merely illustrates the types of projects that can be considered.

General Program Requirements

  1. Eligible Applicants: Eligible applicants are for-profit entities; State, local, and Tribal governments; school districts; communities; not-for-profit organizations; or special purpose districts (e.g., public utilities districts, fire districts, conservation districts, or ports).
  2. Cost Sharing/Matching: A minimum 35:65 match is required; an applicant must contribute at least 35% of the total project cost, and the Forest Service’s share of the project will be no more than 65% of the total. The applicant’s match or contribution must come from non-Federal source funds. The match may include cash or in-kind contributions. All matching funds must be directly related to the proposed project. All organizations that provide matching funds (other than the applicant) must submit letters of support specifying the amount of cash or in-kind services to be provided.

 

The match must be met by eligible and allowable costs and is subject to match provisions in Federal regulations. For information about Federal cost principles and related topics, go to http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/CFR-2015-title2-vol1/pdf/CFR-2015-title2-vol1-part200.pdf.

In addition, applicants can use the budget detail worksheet located at http://www.na.fs.fed.us/fap/budgetdetailtemplate.shtm as a guide to determine project costs.

Your Next Steps

The following information will lead you to the next steps to apply for this program.

Application Process

Information about the current year’s request for proposals and to download an application can be found at:

http://www.fs.fed.us/science-technology/energy-forest-products/wood-innovations-grants

General Timeline:

October: Issuance of Request for Proposals

January: Proposal submission deadline

March: Approximate date for U.S. Forest Service to notify applicants of results

June: Approximate date of award

Hard copies of the application package are available upon request by contacting the appropriate Forest Service Regional Biomass Coordinator or by contacting the Wood Education and Resource Center (WERC): U.S. Forest Service Wood Education and Resource Center 301 Hardwood Lane Princeton, WV 24740 Phone: (304) 487–1510; FAX: (304) 487–6661 E-mail address: werc@fs.fed.us

Program Contact Information

U.S. Forest Service Wood Education and Resource Center

301 Hardwood Lane

Princeton, WV 24740

Phone: (304) 487–1510;

 FAX: (304) 487–6661

E-mail address: werc@fs.fed.us

Additional Information

Tribes Funded by this ProgramFederally Recognized Tribes and Tribal Organizations
Entities Eligible for Grant AssistanceState, local, and Tribal governments; school districts; communities; not-for-profit organizations; or special purpose districts (e.g., public utilities districts, fire districts, conservation districts, or ports)
Do Tribes compete with other entities for funding from the program?Yes
Type of Assistance ProvidedGrant
Funding TypeDiscretionary
Matching Funds RequiredYes
Can the funding from the program be renewedNo

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