Schools

Barre Town Elementary and Middle School

After Twelve years, School's Woodchip System "Runs Like a Charm"

When the Barre Town, Vermont, Elementary and Middle (BTE) School was built in the mid-1960s, its all-electric heat and hot water system looked like a great investment. “It was a steal,” says today’s co-principal, Dr. Ted Riggen. But by the time the school was paying a $180,000 annual power bill in the mid-90s, that notion of a steal had a different meaning...

Christianshede Zoo School

Danish School's Pellet Heat Saves on Cost and Adds Comfort

At a boarding school in Denmark for troubled young people, switching from an electric heating system to one fueled by wood pellets has been one small part of a national movement away from fossil fuels...

Council, Idaho Schools

Building Support and Partnerships for a Local Project

In the autumn of 2004, the superintendent and school board in Council, Idaho, population 900, circulated a brochure. Infrastructure Revitalization Project, it declared. Imagination & Innovations ... PLEASE VOTE. The community’s school system was in a bind. Its high school’s electric heating system cost around $10,000 per month in winter...

Darby, Montana Schools

From a Montana Project, A Key Lesson Learned

Because its three million Btu per hour woodchip-fired biomass heating plant was the first demonstration project installed through the federal Fuels For Schools and Beyond Program in Big Sky country, the system that heats the Darby, Montana schools has become a model for others—and a learning experience...

Leavitt Area High School

At a Pioneering Maine School, Skeptics Have Become Believers

When Leavitt Area High School in rural Turner, Maine proposed installing a woodchip boiler as part of a reconstruction project in the late 1990s, one key early supporter was Ralph Caldwell. Well-known and plain-spoken, the local farmer and businessman was already using chip boilers in several houses he owned. Leavitt High had been using electric heat, and was looking to become the first school in Maine to go with a chip system...

Mount Abraham Union High School

When a Biomass Project's "Champions" Are Teenagers

Vermont wood-energy consultant Jeff Forward has been involved in community-scale biomass projects since 1992. “The common thread in all of the projects that I’ve worked on is that there has been a strong community champion,” he says. “In just about every case, somebody plays the role of keeping the idea in front of community decision-makers—and keeps saying, ‘Let’s think about this.’”...

Nakusp Secondary School

Starting up a Modular, High-Tech Wood/Solar System Hasn't Been So Simple, in One Rural Canadian Town

Out back of a small secondary school that serves a very rural district, in the West Kootenay Mountains of British Columbia, is a big, windowless metal box with solar panels on top. When you look closer, the box turns out to be three shipping containers bolted together, with a sign on the side that says, “Renewable Energy Heating System.”...

Ponaganset High School And Ponaganset Middle School, Foster-Glocester Schools

How Rhode Island's Pioneering Project Overcame Local Resistance

There’s a saying that new ideas are first ridiculed, then attacked, and finally accepted as obvious. That pretty much covers what a group of community volunteers experienced when they sought to convince their western Rhode Island school district to install the first biomass heating systems to go into a public facility in that state...

Townsend, Montana School District

Pellets: A Rural School District's Compact Solution

When a very small school district serving a low-income community was looking for ways to save on costs, its superintendent looked into wood pellets. The numbers made sense...

Verdersø Sports School and Husby Boarding School

In Denmark's Broad Range of Biomass Systems, Two Schools Show How It's Done with Small Boilers

Two boarding schools in western Jutland are examples of the smaller end of the wide spectrum of biomass energy applications in Denmark, this smallest of Scandinavian countries...