PARIS — Local officials and the community got a first-hand view of the Oxford Hills Comprehensive High School $2 million biomass boiler this week.

The boiler went online last week.

“The biomass project has exceeded our expectations. We have a very clean and efficient renewal source for heating our high school facility,” Superintendent Rick Colpitts said Wednesday.

Colpitts, other school officials and representatives of the Siemens Industry Inc. of Scarborough, who developed the biomass project and other energy savings initiatives at the school, were on hand for a private tour of the plant on Tuesday night. The public got a chance to see the project during an open house Wednesday evening.

“This is the culmination of five years of exacting study and careful planning. We are grateful to Siemens for their efforts to ensure the project was completed on time and within budget and to Dr. Mark Eastman whose vision fueled this initiative,” he said.

Eastman, the former superintendent, attended the tour Tuesday.

The Viessmann biomass boiler is affectionately referred to as the Eastman Viessmann boiler in honor of Eastman’s work on the project. The boiler was built by the Viessmann Group in Austria.

The boiler, windmill, solar and voltaic panels were all part of a energy savings plan developed by Siemens and are now in operation and generating savings, Colpitts said.

The green projects include a biomass boiler burning wood chips to make heat, solar panels on the roof to heat water for showers and bathrooms, a windmill at the athletic field to supplement electricity and a photovoltaic system to generate energy for water pumps.

School officials say they believe the high school, which houses about 1,100 students, is the only school in the state to utilize all four forms of alternative energy.

The boiler is expected to save the district as much as $129,000 a year in fuel.

[email protected]


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.

filed under: