Copper Valley Development Association (CVDA) has been championing the development of renewable energy products and systems in the Copper Valley since January 2011. Our primary focus to date has been on the utilization of biomass fuels. Biomass is any woody, fiber that can be used as a fuel in various forms. The common denominator of biomass is woodchips that can be used as a primary source of fuel or transformed into pellets or bio-bricks to produce a more efficient burning fuel.
With over 1,000,000 acres of harvestable beetle-kill timber estimated to provide approximately 40-120 tons of fuel per acre, our region has vast amounts of harvestable resources available to replace expensive fossil fuels currently used to provide heat and hot water for organizations, schools, homes and businesses. The harvest of this beetle-kill has many advantages for the Copper Valley including; reducing local energy costs, creating green energy jobs, reducing the danger of wild fires and improving the environment by accelerating re-growth of our forests. In addition, harvesting biomass fuels can provide a boost for our fledgling timber industry as many of the trees harvested can be selected as quality board wood. The value added manufacturing of pellets and bricks in our region could boost local consumption and provide valuable exports for markets outside of our region.
CVDA has been sponsoring ongoing meetings with regional stakeholders (e.g. land managers, organizations, businesses, government agencies, tribal entities, etc.) to establish a biomass industry in the Copper Valley and is also working with environmental groups to incorporate good stewardship plans. As these plans are in place, it will ensure our resources are harvested in an ecologically responsible manner.