The Center for Rural Partnerships (CRP), working in collaboration with North Country Resource Conservation and Development Area Council (RC & D) and the State Forester, has secured funding from the U.S. Forest Service to conduct a feasibility study for converting PSU’s existing co-gen plant from fossil fuels to sustainably-harvested woody biomass from local forests. Conversion from fossil fuels to a renewable energy source (combined with sustainable forestry) has a number of positive attributes, according to CRP Director Thad Guldbrandsen.
“This advances the mission of the regional comprehensive university in numerous ways,” said Guldbrandsen. “By efficiently using sustainably-harvested wood, we would contribute to the well being of the NH forests and forest-based economy.”
The feasibility study is scheduled to be completed by next August. The PSU study is being conducted as part of a statewide, institution-scale biomass initiative, which will move toward establishing a biomass plant at Bear Brook State Park, PSU and three other institutions, such as public schools. The study also includes the N.H. State Forester, Phil Bryce of the Department of Economic Development, the UNH Cooperative Extension and the North Country RC & D. The statewide project aims to develop five biomass feasibility studies and create educational material for schools and other public institutions to help them evaluate the feasibility of biomass energy.
“PSU would become a model for other institutions region-wide and provide numerous learning opportunities for students and visitors,” noted Guldbrandsen. “Converting PSU’s co-gen plant could go a long way in achieving carbon neutrality on campus, because heat and electricity is our major source of carbon emissions.”
The CRP is currently working with the President’s Commission on Environmental Sustainability (PCES) to implement the feasibility study.
For more information about this release, contact Bruce Lyndes, PSU Media Relations Mgr., (603) 535-2775 or firstname.lastname@example.org.