Two New Hampshire school systems, the Pembroke School District and Winnisquam Regional School District (WRS D), are reducing their carbon dioxide emissions by transitioning to biomass- fueled plants to heat their two largest facilities. Partnering with Honeywell, a private energy technology manufacturer, the districts will save an estimated $3.7 million combined over the next 15 years by switching to plants that burn wood chips. The Pembroke District completed its first phase in 2008, and WRS D expects its plant to be completed by fall.
The biomass plants will use almost 1,000 pounds of wood chips each year from local suppliers to generate hot water in the boilers to heat the schools.
"It's a less expensive heating source," says Cheryl Somma, business administrator at WRS D. "As the prices of fuel and other energy fluctuate, it will help keep costs down."
Sixty-four thousand gallons of oil fuel and 120,000 therms of natural gas will be saved by transitioning the two schools in each district to this model. This carbonneutral fuel source will lead to a combined annual reduction of almost 720 tons of carbon dioxide emissions.
Both districts have financed these programs through 15-year performance contracts with Honeywell. The savings— which are guaranteed by Honeywell— will pay for the work.
In addition to its completed plant, the Pembroke District also installed highefficiency lighting and boilers, made roof renovations, and upgraded the heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning (HVAC ) controls. Conversely, WRS D is putting the finishing touches on its additional renovations.