Sugarmakers can get grants for wood-pellet evaporators

The Clean Energy Development Fund at the Vermont Public Service Department is offering an incentive program for Vermont’s maple sugar makers to install pellet-fueled evaporators, offering grants up to $20,000 for the installation of evaporators that use bulk wood pellets or wood chips as fuel.

The cash grants will be available to all Vermont-based sugar makers, with grant amounts based on the size of the evaporators installed. “We currently have incentives to encourage Vermonters to switch to local pellets for heating, but we heard from maple syrup producers that such incentives couldn’t be applied to evaporators, so we created this separate incentive just for sap evaporators,” fund director Andrew Perchlik said.

The Clean Energy Development Fund will administer the incentive though the state’s Small Scale Renewable Energy Incentive Program with the help of the Renewable Energy Resource Center. Applications and details for the evaporator incentive are available at rerc-vt.org. The program began June 30 and is open on a first-come, first-served basis. Energy program information: bit.ly/vtenergyfunding.

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