Denver, Colorado [RenewableEnergyAccess.com] The Colorado Partnership for Biomass Utilization, Education and Bioenergy Production has received a $100,000 grant from the Western Governors’ Association (WGA). The grant will be used to boost the use of bioenergy and reduce excessive buildup of forest fuels that contribute to wildfires.“Encouraging bioenergy production will lead to healthier forests and offer a clean, renewable energy source for Colorado,” Bill Owens, Governor of Colorado, said. “It could also benefit economic development in many of our state’s rural areas.” The partnership will study the availability of biomass supplies; develop course curriculums in using forest biomass; provide technical assistance on how to use the fuel to heat facilities; and survey industries to determine what they would need to begin using biomass to co-fire their facilities. The project addresses two of the Western governors’ highest priorities: increasing the use of clean and diversified energy and improving the health of the region’s forests. The WGA’s biomass program offers grants for joint projects between state energy offices and state forestry and/or agricultural offices. Biomass projects include the use of renewable organic materials, such as forestry and agricultural crop residues, as well as wood and food processing wastes. The Partnership is led by the Colorado Office of Energy Management and Conservation (OEMC) and the Colorado State Forest Service. The grant program was initiated by WGA and the U.S. Department of Energy through the National Biomass State and Regional Partnership. In this first year of the Grant Program, four states received biomass program funding totaling nearly $250,000.