Maine Woods Pellet Company
Bioenergy — Wood Pellet Production
“We initially anticipated fourteen employees,” said David Carr, Plant Manager of the company’s production
facility in Athens, Maine. “But with the demand we saw for home pellet heating, we needed to expand our bagging operation. We now have thirty-two employees at our firm.”
Carr was quick to point out that job creation doesn’t stop at the facility. “There are more jobs in the woods because of our product, there are more people needed to transport the timber and wood chips, it all adds up,” he continued.
Maine Woods Pellet, a joint venture of Maine Biomass Fuels and Linkletter and Sons timber company, is part of the growing wood heating pellet industry in the rural Northeast. Businesses and homeowners facing rising fossil fuel costs are increasingly turning to biofuels to offset their energy expenditures.
With many homeowners using biofuels as a secondary heating source, the trend away from conventional heating oil is noticeable. “We were designed for bulk,” explained Carr, “But our demand has changed so that we’re now doing a lot of bagging. In the future we could very well see home delivery like people used to have with coal.”
The $10 million cost of the plant meant that numerous funding sources would have to be utilized to see the project to fruition. Still, the $400,000 the company received through REAP was very important. “It may have been a relatively small grant,” said Carr, “but it was very helpful.” “This is one of the times you have to say that it’s money well spent,” added Carr.