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

    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

    The Best Job Perk Ever

     An Interview with Donald Hall ■ Diane Jeffrey ’97, Director of the Silver Center for the Arts When I tell people that I am director of PSU’s Silver Center for the Arts, they often say “That sounds like fun!” Not only do I confirm their suspicions, I often tell them about the fascinating people I […]

    Example Image

    Building a First-Year Class

    PSU’s overwhelming success with enrollment for the 2015–16 academic year was the result of focused multi-year investments in admissions, marketing, academic and co-curricular programs, and new and repurposed facilities.

    Example Image

    That She May Serve

    Elizabeth Morrissette ’18 selected as New Hampshire’s Miss University 2015 Elizabeth Morrissette ’18 stood on the stage at her first Miss New Hampshire pageant, trying to keep her knees from knocking. “I was definitely nervous—I’d only had a week to prepare and I wasn’t really sure what to expect—but at the same time I felt […]