Plymouth State to convert campus to natural gas and save

April 25th, 2013 by Heather

    Plymouth State to convert campus to natural gas and save

    By DAN SEUFERT
    Union Leader Correspondent

    The Plymouth State University heating plant will be converted this summer to a co-generation plant that will burn natural gas. (COURTESY)
    PLYMOUTH – Plymouth State University has signed a deal with a Boston natural gas company to convert the university from burning diesel oil to using a “virtual pipeline” natural gas system starting next fall.The new system will pay for itself in one year, according to Stephen Taksar, the university’s vice president for finance and administration.

    It will reduce carbon emissions on the campus by 12 percent. That fits with the university’s goal of becoming carbon neutral by the year 2050, Taksar said.

    “You can’t reach a goal like that without reassessing your fuel usage and conservation,” Taksar said.

    The university is looking at switching to a biomass system or some other alternative in the decades ahead.

    “It’s a very small upfront cost to adopt a new system, and very few investments like this have a one-year payback,” he said.

    The numbers are simple: The cost of converting the campus oil burners to a compressed natural gas system is roughly $500,000. The university’s savings in burning natural gas will be $500,000 per year.

    “It will allow us to reinvest in our students; it’s a win-win,” he said.

    PSU’s new system will be unique in the state, Taksar said, in the “virtual pipeline” concept. The compressed gas will be delivered via trucks, and the gas will be burned in the converted oil burners.

    The university’s contract for the system is with Xpress Natural Gas of Boston.

    Plymouth State expects to lower its carbon emissions related to heating fuel by 32 percent, or a projected 2,800 tons of carbon per year. The entire campus is expected to reduce its total carbon footprint and overall carbon emissions by 12 percent.

    The PSU central heating plant provides heat and hot water to 42 educational buildings with more than 1.2 million square feet of classroom, residential and office space.

    John Nahill, president and CEO of Xpress Natural Gas, said his company is “thrilled to work with Plymouth State as they take a significant step forward using a cleaner, lower-cost fuel that is better for the environment.”

    “This project is exactly the kind of collaboration we look for with our customers,” he said.

    Featured in Plymouth Magazine

    Example Image

    Student Spotlight: Mae Williams ’14G A Twenty-first-century Preservationist

    When Mae Williams ’14G enrolled in the Master of Arts in Historic Preservation program in the fall of 2012, she was drawn to the strength of a program in which, she says, “The professors are not academics locked away amidst a pile of books, but are actually out in the field on a daily basis, […]

    Example Image

    Ut Prosim: Burton for Certain

    Ray Burton ’62 lived all his years in the North Country of New Hampshire. Few elected officials have ever understood the lifestyle and character of their constituents as well as he did or have known so many of them by name. On December 14, 2013, hundreds of Burton’s fellow citizens joined dozens of past and […]

    Example Image

    Arts: Digital Repository Puts PSU’s History and Culture at Your Fingertips

    Where can you get a close look at a photo of Babe Ruth standing in front of the Draper and Maynard Building, peruse a 1905 copy of Plymouth Normal School’s literary magazine The Prospect, and examine an aerial view of Plymouth State’s campus in 1960? Thanks to PSU’s digital repository, these historical treasures—along with 15,000 […]