More than 50 businesses and organizations throughout the U.S. and Canada have come together to participate in the 5th Annual National Bioenergy Day.
American Home Fireplace & Patio in West Salem was one of those businesses opening its doors to the community to demonstrate the benefits bioenergy provides on a local level. Bioenergy refers to the generation of electricity and heat from wood and other organic materials that provides a sustainable, renewable, and carbon-friendly energy source.
The Xcel Energy plant out on French Island provides a unique service to La Crosse county.
"We've got a plant out on French iIland that burns three types of fuel. It burns the refuse dry fuel from our garbage, it burns wood waste from sawmills and different places, and it also burns wood but it burns railroad ties, shredded up railroad ties, which is a real good way to recycle those railroad ties and make energy out of them," says Mike Herro, Community Service Manager for Xcel Energy.
In addition to providing a domestic energy source, bioenergy industries work together to keep American forests healthy and put organic byproducts, industry byproducts, and agricultural residuals to good use.