McNeil Biomass Forest Mapping Project
This is an electronic map depicting logging sales that have provided wood to the McNeil generating station
, a 50 megawatt biomass power incinerator in Burlington, VT.
Current funding has allowed us to map 2010 McNeil logging sales in Vermont. While Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department keeps public records of logging fueling the facility, New York State does not and records requests are pending. 1/2 - 2/3 of McNeil's wood comes from New York State.
The McNeil generating station burns an estimated 400,000 green tons of wood per year (76 tons of whole-tree chips per hour, 30 cords per hour), according to co-owner Burlington Electric Department. The materials fueling McNeil incinerator consist of 70% trees and woody materials directly from the forest, 25% from residues (chips and bark from local sawmills), and 5% from recycled wood. Along with tree tops and limbs, the McNeil facility burns whole trees [pictured below].
The McNeil Biomass Forest Mapping Project is the first of its kind to visually depict the actual forest footprint of an industrial-scale biomass energy facility. The mapping project would make the logging operations for McNeil biomass transparent and open to industry, government, media, scientific, and public scrutiny, making it possible to document actual, on-the-ground impacts associated with biomass logging practices.
The end goal is to provide a model for a national assessment of the total forest footprint and impacts of all existing and future industrial-scale biomass energy facilities.
At 26 years old, Burlington, Vermont's McNeil generating station is one of the nation's longest operating forest biomass power incinerators
. The incinerator is sited at the edge of a low-income, ethnically-diverse neighborhood, 200 yards from the nearest residence. McNeil biomass incinerator is Vermont's largest polluter, according to Planet Hazard.com.