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Regional News

Expanding CNY's Market for Renewables

By Jasmyn Belcher

Oswego, NY – A Texas-based energy firm is trying to expand Central New York's market for a new source of renewable energy.

According to the company, Catalyst Renewables, biomass is the largest single renewable energy source in the country. The fuel can be used for heat, power or liquid fuel. Mostly it comes from waste wood from logging operations. Over the last 20 years, the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry has been researching and harvesting 600 Acres of willow. Catalyst wants to plant an additional 200 acres. The willow would be used as a fuel source for a new biomass power plant proposed in Onondaga County.

Eric Spomer, President of Catalyst, said Central N.Y. would see energy, economic and environmental benefits from an expanded market.

"You know they are actually a carbon sink for greenhouse gases. They create a lot of jobs locally, there's nothing like a biomass plant, of any fuel type, for job creation. It's a very stable local energy source, rather than buying natural gas from Canada or coal from somewhere, your buying wood locally from farmers and forest owners," said Spomer.

Spomer said the company is pushing for policy steps that enable biomass renewable energy projects.