College invests in biomass plant

In the city of Waterville in Maine, US, the construction of a biomass cogeneration plant has begun.

The $11.2 million (€8.36 million) facility, located in Colby College, will produce heat from steam and electricity from hot water, replacing approximately 1 million gallons of heating fuel a year.

According to college estimates, the plant will pay for itself within six to 10 years.

A $750,000 grant awarded by Efficiency Maine will help finance the project, which is slated for completion in spring next year.

Consisting of two 400 horsepower boilers and a below-grade storage area, the plant will handle around 22,000 tonnes of wood chips and forestry waste annually, sourced from within a 50-mile radius.

The new plant will go towards helping Colby College reach its goal of becoming carbon neutral by 2015. It already purchases 100% of its electricity from renewable materials, including biomass, wind and hydro.

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