NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — As the result of an energy study conducted for Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts by the state's Division of Capital Asset Management, the college has been awarded $120,000 to complete a feasibility study.
The feasibility study will determine what it will take for MCLA to renovate its power plant with a co-generation unit, update its boilers to provide additional steam to heat the campus and run the co-generator, and to determine the savings derived from burning wood chips.
The energy study, completed nine months ago, determined renewable energy sources that MCLA might utilize. This prompted the upcoming feasibility study.
"We thought MCLA may be a good candidate for burning biomass in our power plant," said James Stakenas, vice president of administration and finance. "Because DCAM officials thought that biomass conversion was the most appropriate renewable energy source for us, they have funded a feasibility study to determine what it would cost MCLA to implement not only a biomass burning power plant, but also to use steam to not only heat the campus, but to run a co-generation unit so that we could produce some of our own power."
According to Joe Santucci, MCLA's energy manager, "The proposed biomass project is attractive, both financially and environmentally."
"It is very good news for MCLA because it is ultimately having experts tell us how we can use a renewable fuel source not only to heat the campus, but to provide energy," Stakenas said.
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