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Feb 20, 2003 to Feb 6, 2013

BMH Expansion: Could It Tap Into BUHS Heat Plant?


It looks like BMH is growing again to meet the needs of changing technology and a greying population. Part of this expansion is the multi-million dollar replacement of the oil boilers with new ones that use a slightly cheaper form of oil. A question I would like to pose is what is the possibility of extending lines from the wood chip plant at BUHS to meet the needs of BMH.

I am sure there are A LOT of considerations (cost, ability to serve both, etc etc) but I just wanted to pose the idea and get people's thoughts... I just want to see them move off of oil....

Thanks

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Wood Heat

David - My understanding from investigating past projects of this nature is that to run those insulated hot water lines underground costs in the order of $100-200 per linear foot. If it is half a mile between the BUHS heating plant and the BMH heating plant the cost of running the lines alone, then, could be $250,000. I can ask around to confirm this.

The other question is whether the BUHS plant has the extra capacity to handle the (new) heating load at BMH, especially on the coldest day of the year. That would be a question for the BUHS plant operators.

Another option that would likely be more cost effective would be to have BMH build its own wood chip or pellet heating plant. The 'Modern Wood Heat' program that the Windham Regional Commission is promoting to install high-efficiency wood heating systems in municipal and public school buildings will soon be expanded to help cover the costs for such boilers for any 'public serving organization.' The subsidy is 25%, or 35% if the organization undertakes a comprehensive energy audit of their building in conjunction with the new boiler and creates a plan to install energy conservation measures.

Even without the subsidy wood heat is much cheaper than even the #6 bunker oil that they are proposing to use, I assume, and would pay for the additional cost of the wood boiler pretty quickly.

I had a long talk with John Allen and Patrick Moreland yesterday afternoon about modern wood heat, and learned much to my dismay that propane boilers are planned for both the central fire station and (I think) the police station. John said that he just hasn't heard from many people who are concerned about climate change or were pushing for alternatives.

 

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