The University of Maine at Farmington (UMF) is ready to begin construction of an $11 million biomass central heating plant that will reduce campus carbon emissions by 3,000 tons a year.
The 5,885-square-foot facility will generate energy from plant-based materials, typically wood chips from Maine, the university says. The power that the plant will produce means the university will be able to forgo consumption of 390,000 gallons of heating oil a year.
School officials say savings generated by the biomass plant are projected to cover the construction costs and provide a payback in less than 10 years.
“We are very excited about UMF’s energy future that will soon include this new, sustainable, local fuel source,” says Kathryn A. Foster, university president. “UMF is a longtime leader in the responsible use of the Earth’s resources. Adding biomass to our existing geothermal commitment further diversifies our energy portfolio and greatly reduces our reliance upon fossil fuels.”