Grant applications for USDA Forest Services wood innovation projects and community wood energy facilities now open

The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) Forest Services is now accepting grant applications for wood innovation projects, as well as community wood energy facilities.

The deadline for application is 23 Mar 2023 at 5p.m. Applications may be submitted via email to the Forest Service Regional Wood Innovations coordinator listed in the application instructions.

Wood innovation

The Wood Innovations Grant Program makes US$24m worth of funding available to expand traditional wood use projects, advance wood energy markets, and promote wood use in commercial building construction.

USDA Forest Services’ request for proposals focuses on market development goals to reduce hazardous fuels and improve forest health on national forests and other forest lands, reduce the costs of forest management, and promote economically strong and environmentally healthy communities.

Eligible projects include:

  • Architectural and engineering designs, cost analyses, and permitting to secure financing for commercial wood construction or wood energy projects development
  • Establishing or increasing wood products manufacturing to support forest restoration
  • Showcasing environmental and economic benefits of wood as a sustainable commercial building material to encourage growth in the industry
  • Establishing statewide wood use teams or wood energy teams
  • Developing wood energy projects that use residues from wood products or woody biomass
  • Developing commercial woody biomass and wood product industrial parks
  • Overcoming market barriers to stimulate wood energy expansion, and
  • Purchasing wood processing equipment to create markets supporting forest management

Wood-based energy

The Community Wood Grant Program readily funds $17m into shovel-ready projects to install thermally led community wood energy systems or build innovative wood product facilities to support healthy forests and stimulate local economies by expanding renewable wood energy and innovative wood products manufacturing capacity.

Eligible projects include:

  • Community wood heating, cooling, or electricity systems that replace fossil fuels
  • Purchase and installation of manufacturing equipment at a mass timber production facility
  • Expanding sawmills with innovative technologies, cost cutting measures and higher value production lines, and
  • Equipment purchase and installation at new facilities producing forest products biofuels

To apply for either grant, applicants must be registered with the System for Award Management (SAM). Applications should show a clear benefit to under-served or historically marginalised people, communities, and the forests they value.

For-profit entities, state and local governments, Indian Tribes, school districts, non-profit organizations, higher education institutions, public utilities, and fire and conservation districts are eligible to apply.

More information can be found on the Forest Service Wood Innovations website.