Community Roadmap for a Greener North Country

November 19th, 2009 by Adam

PLYMOUTH, N.H.-
An exciting new project designed to help northern New Hampshire communities become more environmentally sustainable while saving money is underway. The Community energy project team is led by North Country Resource Conservation and Development (RC&D), Plymouth State University’s Center for Rural Partnerships (CfRP), the Northern Forest Center, Coos Economic Development Corporation. The partners are seeking contractors for a community energy project (“Roadmap”), whose goal is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in New Hampshire through a wood biomass heating system.

The project, which has received financial support from the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) administered by the New Hampshire Public Utilities Commission, has the goal of creating this decision making tool which will be useful to municipalities, but also subsets of communities such as commercial and residential housing developments said Richard DeMark, USDA Coordinator for the North Country RC&D Area. Demark added that starting today, North country RC&D will be soliciting proposals from qualified consultants to work with the Task Force to create the decision making tool.

The Roadmap will help guide a community (which may be a municipality, educational institution, industrial park, housing project or other candidate) through the host of issues attached to planning for and implementing a district heating and/or combined heat and power system. A successful Roadmap tool will result in greater local/regional energy self reliance, greater ability to contain rising energy costs, provide energy reliability, maintain markets for local wood biomass, provide local economic and social benefits and reduce greenhouse gasses. Thad Guldbrandsen, Director of the CfRP, said the Community Roadmap can help decision-makers improve both the energy efficiency and economy of New Hampshire’s North Country.

We have the technology to reduce carbon emissions, improve community well-being, and sustain our natural resources, but communities and consumers are overwhelmed by information,” Guldbrandsen said. “This Community Roadmap project will be a valuable tool in helping communities to navigate complex decision-making processes. It will provide reliable information from an impartial source. I’m really excited about it.”

The Roadmap Request for Proposals is located at: RRP and Community Roadmap Information .

Allison Grappone, Northern Forest Center program assistant, said the program will be of interest to many North Country municipal and school groups.

“So many communities are interested in district heating for cost savings and environmental reasons,” said Grappone. “We want to make it as easy as possible for them to get started by providing information and technical assistance.”

The Roadmap project is financially supported by the New Hampshire Public Utilities Commission and the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI).

A pre-proposal conference shall be conducted December 4, 10 a.m., at US Forest Service, White Mountain National Forest Headquarters, Campton, N.H., exit 27 off I 93, Campton, N.H.

The proposals submission deadline is December 18, at 4:30 p.m. at the office of North Country RC&D.

For more information about this release, contact Bruce Lyndes, PSU Media Relations Mgr., (603) 535-2775 or blyndes@plymouth.edu

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