Wood Energy Exhibit Showcases Energy Choices NHEC grant helped fund

HOLDERNESS — Squam Lakes Natural Science Center recently announced the community phase of its Nature Matters Capital Campaign. The comprehensive fundraising effort prepares the Science Center for the future with multiple exhibit expansions, infrastructure improvements, and long-term financial stability. The first project for the capital campaign was the installation of two high-efficiency wood boilers, which was completed in February.

The project consists of two GARN wood heating systems, which use sustainably harvested, locally-sourced wood to heat five major buildings on the Science Center's Holderness campus. The GARN Wood Heating System is a simple, efficient, and durable wood fired hydronic heating system. The boilers use a large hydronic thermal storage tank to store the heat from a fast, clean, and efficient wood burning gasification process. The patented two-stage wood gasification technology produces virtually no smoke. The heated water circulates through an underground network of pipes to heat the buildings. The boilers are 88% efficient (LHV), and are reducing the use of five existing furnaces on the Science Center's campus, which use a combination of propane and oil.

The project was made possible with funds raised from donors to the Nature Matters Capital Campaign along with an incentive from New Hampshire Electric Cooperative's (NHEC) Commercial & Industrial Fossil Fuel program. The NHEC program provides incentives for larger commercial and industrial members to install systems that save or eliminate fossil fuel use. The Science Center received $15,000 towards the project, which was used to purchase 31 high efficiency pumps that reduce the amount of electricity used to distribute the heat to the buildings.

The Science Center expects to save over $15,000 annually in oil and propane costs.

The public will be able to see the boilers during the public trail season (May 1 through November 1) in a new Wood Energy Exhibit. In addition to a seeing the boilers through a viewing window, the exhibits will explain how renewable heat compares to other forms of energy with interactive displays.

More information about the Nature Matters Capital Campaign may be found at www.nhnature.org/naturematters.