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Virginia Community Wood Energy Program Holds Tour of Wood-Fueled Institutions

The Virginia Community Wood Energy Program is celebrating National Bioenergy Day 2015, October 21st, by organizing a study tour of three Virginia wood-fueled institutions: the Blackstone Conference and Retreat Center, Piedmont Geriatric Hospital and Longwood University. The tour is scheduled to begin mid-morning in Blackstone with a brief introduction to heating with wood fuels and tour of the fully automated boiler followed by an early lunch. After lunch participants will visit Piedmont Geriatric Hospital, a larger institution with full-time operation and maintenance staff. In addition to heating for over 25 years with sawdust from local mills, PGH staff has pioneered the use of Native Warm Season Grasses (NWSG) for boiler fuel, which is driving the restoration of native grasslands, habitat for Bobwhite Quail, in Southside. The final stop on the tour will be Longwood University, which has heated their campus for over 30 years with sawdust from local mills. While all three locations initially chose wood fuels for heating to save themselves money, their demand has contributed to their regional economy and the health of their environment.

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