Growing switchgrass for biofuel for a Virginia hospital also provides ground cover for quail, income for farmers, captures carbon, and reduces sedimentation into streams. It’s a win-win for everyone. Hospital fuel costs are reduced and they don’t have to worry about fluctuating fuel prices because it’s a fixed price contract. Farmers grow it on unused land, providing them with steady extra income. And it’s a renewable locally-grown source of fuel.
Biomass has the potential to supply a significant portion of America’s growing energy needs, while increasing energy independence, diversifying sources of domestic revenue, and adding over a million jobs to the workforce. In Nottoway County, Virginia, the Piedmont General Hospital campus partnered with the Virginia Tech Conservation Management Institute, FDC Enterprises, Inc., local farmers and government, and state organizations, to establish a successful supply chain of native warm-season switchgrass to use as biofuel for steam and heat generation for the hospital and its campus. Watch this video to learn how this effort helped Nottoway County and surrounding areas achieve environmental goals through increased perennial land cover, while providing economic opportunities for communities and farmers in the region and significant savings for the taxpayers of the State of Virginia.