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University breaks ground on biomass plant in Maine

Construction has begun on a biomass project in Maine, US. The plant will benefit two schools in the St. John Valley: the University of Maine and Fort Kent Community High School.

The biomass heating system will help both educational institutions reduce their carbon footprint while also slashing energy costs; it is expected to save more than $4 million (€2.9 million) over the next 10 years.

Twelve buildings will be supplied with heat and hot water – 10 university structures and two at the high school. This figure could be increased in the future.

The project has received a $2.7 million grant from the US Department of Agriculture.

Wilson Hess, president of UMFK, was quoted as saying: 'The project will spur northern Maine's growing wood pellet and biomass fuel markets by consuming nearly 1,000 tonnes of wood biomass annually.'