P. J. Noyes to use pellets to heat its Main Street warehouse


October 27, 2011
LANCASTER — The high price of oil is encouraging businesses with large buildings to seek new solutions to reduce their costs.

P. J. Noyes plans to substantially reduce its energy costs at its large warehouse and offices at 248 Main Street (Route 3), located behind F. B. Spaulding Co.'s retail and repair operations at 244 Main Street.

"The proposed pellet boilers are one component of a larger project to reduce energy costs associated with the building," explained P. J. Noyes president David Hill in an email exchange. "We are also planning to insulate the exterior walls of the concrete block building in order to significantly reduce the heat load (demand)."

P.J. Noyes is a privately held 140-year-old contract manufacturer and packager of capsules, liquids and tablets that operates its manufacturing plant at 89 Bridge Street (Route 2) where over 100 people are employed.

"The warehouse is approximately 40,000 square feet," Hill said. "About 5,000 of that is administrative offices, which will be more fully occupied next spring (2012) when we complete the move of Dental Herb Company from Boca Raton, Fla. to Lancaster." P.J. Noyes purchased the natural oral products company about a year ago.

The company is still gathering bids but is targeting a simple payback period of 10 years for the overall project.

"We expect fuel-switching alone — going from oil to wood pellets — to cut our cost per BTU (British Thermal Unit) in half," Hill said. "Our total energy cost for the building has been about $85,000 per year."

Insulating the exterior walls will reduce the demand enough so the warehouse can be heated with a relatively small wood pellet system, as opposed to a woodchip-burning system, Hill explained. A woodchip system would have called for a much larger boiler as well as a large storage area for the chips, he said. The setup includes a 30-ton pellet storage silo.

"Pellets are more expensive than chips, but they flow easily, can be burned in a much cheaper, highly automated system, and burn cleaner with less ash and less system maintenance," Hill said.

The Planning Board voted unanimous approval for the containerized pellet-boiler project at its meeting on Wednesday night, according to Planning-Zoning coordinator Ben Gaetjens-Oleson. P.J. Noyes' maintenance manager Kim Perry of Jefferson filed the application, and the MacMillin Company of Keene is listed as project consultants.

P.J. Noyes manufactures dietary supplements, OTC pharmaceuticals, nutraceuticals, personal care products, homeopathics, and veterinary products, all made to order for other companies.

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