Using willows to heat your home

MIDDLEBURY, Vt. (AP) - October 19, 2009

With a nine-acre patch of the fast-growing willows, the college is conducting a biomass energy experiment that seeks to answer the question: What if wood-chip burning heat systems lead to the deforestation of Vermont?

Willows, which grow faster than other trees and branch out when pruned, may be the answer - and may be a resource for other cold-weather states.

The exclusive liberal arts school in Middlebury, Vt., opened a new boiler system last winter to heat about 100 campus buildings, running turbines that meet about a fifth of the college's electrical demand.

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