MA Bioenergy Logo The Department of Energy Resources (DOER), in partnership with the Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR), has identified biomass as a renewable energy resource with tremendous potential in Massachusetts due to the state's 3,000,000 acres of underutilized forestland and other large sources of wood. In 2008, DOER and DCR led the Mass. Sustainable Forest Bioenergy Initiative to facilitate the development of biomass energy projects and fuel supply infrastructure in the Commonwealth.

Project Summary

Early studies indicate that as much as 4,000,000 tons of woody biomass could be produced annually in Massachusetts, mostly from forests and forest products industries. Utilizing only half that volume for the production of electricity would represent an estimated 150 MW of renewable generation, and substantial rural economic development associated with the fuel supply.

The Massachusetts Sustainable Forest Bioenergy Initiative provided research and development on forest management and market infrastructure needs, and has helped the state to provide the resources necessary to develop the biomass supply market.

The Initiative set out to accomplish several specific tasks:

  • Research biomass harvesting and fuel processing methods
  • Analyze regional economic impact of biomass development
  • Assess state-owned forestland and target acreage for bioenergy management
  • Establish model forestry operation for outreach to industry and private landowners
  • Conduct biomass supply resource assessment, and inventory existing and needed harvesting/processing/transportation equipment
  • Develop a strategic plan for establishing supply infrastructure and market activities
  • Produce outreach information on bioenergy to address public concerns
  • Research bioenergy harvesting impacts on forest health
  • Develop industry training programs on optimal forestry practices and equipment procurement incentives

Grants for $495,000 from the U.S. Department of Energy and $245,000 from the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative, Renewable Energy Trust supported the Massachusetts Sustainable Forest Bioenergy Initiative.

Technical Reports

Related Reports

Strategic Plan Advisory Committee Presentations


This information is provided by the Department of Energy Resources.