I am looking forward to seeing the project come full-circle on poplar production, with some final harvests and restoration of fields to prior conditions. This will allow us to produce comprehensive documentation across the full range of production activities and present a complete proof of concept of our production system, which has never been done before. I am also looking forward to seeing our education programs expand into more communities and witness the excitement it generates as people think about energy in new and innovative ways.
As an AHB Team Member I am looking forward to the upcoming 2017 harvests of demonstration sites. With three years of above ground growth from two-year old rootstock, the harvest volumes are truly at an operational scale. This will validate harvesting logistics and calculated volumes of differing varieties, providing yield information necessary for large scale development of poplar biofuel farms.
I am looking forward to a few key milestones for the WWCC Plant Operations program:
- At the end of January, we will host the first advisory board meeting for our Plant Operations-Mechanic program. We have pulled together Clarkston, WA and Lewiston, ID based business leaders from pulp and paper, public works, forest product, and manufacturing operations to participate.
- For summer, we will help place up to 10 students in internships (mostly in WA and OR) with biofuel, utility, wastewater, drinking water, irrigation, solid waste management, and food processing operations.
- By August, 14 students in the WWCC Plant Operations applied associate degree program will graduate and enter the workforce!
In 2017, I look forward to helping share AHB’s history and shape its future. I’ve been fortunate to hear the accomplishments and impressions of many AHB collaborators during interviews, and early this year we will be releasing a video telling your story! I’m also excited to witness a poplar harvest (a first for me), make new connections, and explore potential win-win scenarios for environmental services.