U of Maine considers biomass, solar - Smart Energy Decisions

Energy Efficiency, Solar, Sourcing Renewables  -  May 25, 2018

U of Maine considers biomass, solar

A new proposal at the University of Maine’s Orono campus calls for a woodchip-fueled power plant and a solar array to provide green power.

The plan was presented by Honeywell International in response to a request from the University for proposals to transition the campus from natural gas and fuel to renewable energy, according to a report in the Portland Press Herald. The report said that "Honeywell’s proposal was a runner-up in the original RFP process. The financial section is heavily redacted and omits any information about the cost of the power contract, although it has been estimated to be worth more than $100 million."

The report noted, "The new central heating and power plant could be a 'living laboratory' for the school’s forestry and engineering students, and showcase UMaine’s emerging interest in sustainability solutions and technologies under the Honeywell plan.”

The new energy system is expected to drive progress toward the University’s goal to virtually eliminate net greenhouse gas emissions by 2040. Honeywell expects its project to achieve 85% of that goal. Additional efficiency measures, including upgrading lighting and motors, could raise the result to 94%.

The proposal estimates cutting expenses for electricity and heat from the current $10 million a year down to $4.3 million with the new power plant and solar array.

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