Academic, Research, Industry Collaborate to Help Biomass Energy EntrepreneursSUNY Cobleskill has teamed up with the New York Biomass Energy Alliance (NYBEA) and the New York Farm Viability Institute (NYFVI) to help rural entrepreneurs advance innovative biomass technology projects. The goal of this collaborative effort is to support projects that are already in development by providing experienced engineering and financial analysis and advice.
The jointly administered program Technical Assistance for Customer-Sited Rural Biomass Energy Projects in New York State will assist private sector biomass projects in the state that have already moved past the “concept” phase, but have not been developed to the point that they can attract investment capital and finance. Selected projects will receive engineering and economic feasibility technical assistance focusing on engineering and economic issues in project design. Information on how to apply is available on line at
“Many people in rural communities recognize the potential of biomass as a renewable energy source and some have put a lot of effort into designing and building new ways of using this energy. We are very excited to join SUNY Cobleskill and the New York Farm Viability Institute to support the advancement of these projects into the next phase of their development.” says Dan Conable, Director of the New York Biomass Energy Alliance.
Bob Rynk, Associate Professor of Agricultural Engineering at SUNY Cobleskill, explains, “Not only does this program advance renewable energy, the technical assistance will also spur new and diverse businesses that will enrich local rural economies.” The College now offers a bachelor degree program in Environmental and Energy Technologies, which will train students for technical careers in numerous environmental applications, including renewable energy. Students will be given internship opportunities connected to technical assistance provided through this project.
The three organizations are well-suited to collaborate at this junction of rural business development and
The New York Biomass Energy Alliance (www.newyorkbiomass.org) works to build public
understanding of the full range of biomass-to-energy technologies, and to network emerging biomass
energy businesses with each other, as well as researchers and potential producers of energy crops.
The New York Farm Viability Institute (www.nyfvi.org) is a non-profit organization that fosters a vibrant agriculture sector in New York by supporting applied research, outreach education, information transfer, adoption of technology, business planning, market analysis and more.
The Center for Rural Small Business at SUNY Cobleskill actively supports the development of businesses such as those that will be supported through this program, and places student interns in farm and rural business settings to learn practical business and career skills as part of their regular curriculum.
Funding for the Technical Assistance for Customer-Sited Rural Biomass Energy Projects in New York State program is provided by a U.S.D.A. Rural Development Rural Business Enterprise Grant program, as well as in-kind contributions, including staff and faculty time, space, testing and engineering equipment and supplies, by SUNY Cobleskill and the NYFVI.