Bioenergy project tools for Michigan communities

Michigan communities seeking a better understanding of how to produce bioenergy from biomass have a new online resource available to them.

This resource, called the Energy Independence, Bioenergy Generation and Environmental Sustainability Training Center (BIOENERGY Training Center), is designed to provide educational resources focused not only on the technical feasibility of bioenergy generation, but also on approaches and processes that assist communities in understanding the comprehensive implications of bio-based renewable energy.

There are three courses at the BIOENERGY Training Center:

  • Course 1 - Bioenergy & Sustainability
  • Course 2 - On-farm Energy and Conservation 
  • Course 3 - Anaerobic Digestion

Each course contains modules developed by Extension specialists and educators from land-grant universities across the upper Midwestern U.S.

While the target audience of the BIOENERGY Training Center is Extension educators, community leaders will find valuable information in case studies, community assessment and preparedness tools and videos found on the website. Module 4 in Course 1 entitled Community Economic Development & Bioenergy Generation will help communities:

  1. Define and discuss integrated approaches to bioenergy development.
  2. Explore and describe the diversity of perspectives involved in bioenergy development, including biomass producers and transporters, energy producers, conservationists, investors and local elected officials.
  3. Identify and describe key sustainability issues and opportunities associated with different types of bioenergy development.
  4. Consider public participation strategies that create meaningful opportunities for community participation in discussions about bioenergy development.

There is no charge to utilize the resources in the BIOENERGY Training Center.

Michigan State University (MSU) Extension educators are available to assist communities with their bioenergy projects. To locate an educator, visit the MSU Extension Expert Search and type the word “Bioenergy” in the line next to “Educator Area of Specialty” to locate individuals’ contact information.

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