For eight winters NHBB HiTech has been burning wood pellets to heat its 230,000 sq. ft. facility. This sustained commitment to modern wood heating has earned HiTech an official commendation from the New Hampshire Wood Energy Council (NHWEC).
During the heating season, from November to April, HiTech burns approximately 60 to 70 tons of pellets in total, which has enabled the division to reduce its use of nonrenewable fossil fuel heating oil by 70,000 gallons, annually.
“By adopting wood pellets as a primary heating fuel, we’re able to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels,” said Patti Carrier, Environmental Manager in NHBB’s Office of Safety, Environment and Sustainability. “This outcome is consistent with our values, given that we seek to develop policies and practices designed to bring about long term economic, environmental and social viability.”
The heating system HiTech operates includes two dual-fuel boilers that burn both wood pellets and heating oil. The wood pellets are housed in a twenty-foot tall silo that sits behind the building. The pellets are fed into the boilers through a long, white conveyor tube, which maintains a steady flow to both furnaces during the coldest months of the year. The 4 to 5 tons of ash that is left over is recycled as an organic compost for topsoil.
According to their website, the New Hampshire Wood Energy Council (NHWEC) is a nonprofit partnership that provides professional guidance to support the growth of commercial and institutional wood heating. By working closely with individuals, organizations, businesses, industry associations, and government agencies, NHWEC promotes the sustainable use of NH’s renewable forests to help bring energy independence and economic prosperity to the State.
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