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Plans underway to construct greenhouse


November 07, 2018
BERLIN — At a council meeting last Monday, the city council showed support for a renewable energy project to use steam from the biomass plant for a greenhouse that would be constructed at the former Burgess mill site.

Dammon Frecker and Sarah Boone of Cate Street Operations told the council that New Hampshire Public Utilities Commission put out a request for proposal for a thermal, renewable energy project and said that $1 million is available. CSO plans to apply for $500,000.

Frecker said that the grant money "comes from alternative compliance payments from the utility companies and that it would take the PUC about two months to go through the proposals, so they would decide early in the new year."

The plans are to use steam from the Burgess BioPower turbines to heat a four acre greenhouse. The steam, created by burning wood, would heat the greenhouse.

At the former mill site, the old warehouse would be torn down and the maintenance office would be relocated to make room for the greenhouse. The greenhouse would produce baby green leaves.

CSO is working with Wilson Engineering Services to conduct a feasibility study, a firm that is also conducting a feasibility study on heating streets and sidewalks in Berlin for a snowmelt project. That study is $20,000. Both projects would account for 20 percent of thermal energy from the plant.

Burgess BioPower would be the developer but the greenhouse would be owned and operated by an unnamed third party.

Frecker and Boone explained that about 12 jobs would be created for construction and 30 would be created once the greenhouse was in operation.

Councilor Michael Rozek asked if easement for the snowmobile trail would be honored and Frecker said it would be.

Mayor Paul Grenier encouraged CSO to look into a finance package from the Business Finance Authority or Community Development Block Grants.

Grenier praised CSO for their commitment to the city.

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