BETHEL — During the past 10 years, Hancock Lumber has worked hard to successfully reduce its consumption of electricity by installing energy efficient LED lighting and high efficiency electrical motors. As of Saturday, Oct. 21, Hancock Lumber’s Bethel sawmill began generating most of its own power with a newly installed steam turbine generator.

The system is creating electricity from otherwise wasted steam to provide heat for the dry kilns where eastern white pine boards will be dried for seven to 10 days. Therefore, the steam is used twice — once to generate power and a second time to heat the dry kilns. The system converts the steam into energy that will power nearly a third of the entire Bethel facility.

Annual energy savings are estimated at 2.33 million kWh/year, or 30 percent of the Bethel facility’s total usage. Annual power generated is enough to power 215 average households for a year.

Hancock Lumber’s Bethel sawmill upgraded its power supply with a steam generator.

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