Burgess BioPower received $500,000 in grant funding from the NH Public Utilities Commission to build a thermal energy recovery system to use energy from its steam condenser cooling water circuit. The recovered energy will be used to heat a $25 million hydroponic greenhouse, growing baby leafy greens, to be located on the plant’s property in Berlin.
This marks an important milestone as Burgess BioPower looks to complete a co-location agreement with a third-party company, which would build and operate the greenhouse, bringing additional jobs and economic contributions to the area. The grant is the result of a competitive application process initiated last October to increase thermal renewable energy generation using money from the state’s Renewable Energy Fund.
“The NH PUC grant and continued development of the Burgess BioPower site shows the company’s steadfast commitment to the city of Berlin,” says Paul Genier, mayor of Berlin. “Burgess BioPower is one of the best things to happen to Berlin in the past 15 years. The company is a shining example of what a great corporate citizen can do for a community. Helping to develop new projects and bring more jobs to town is just one of the most recent examples.”
The recovery system will repurpose heated water that’s created by Burgess’s cooling water circuit as it lowers the temperature of steam from the power-generating turbine. This energy is currently rejected to the atmosphere by the facility’s cooling tower. The warm water will be piped to the proposed greenhouse to heat the facility, allowing it to grow produce year-round, whatever the weather may be outside. The proposed greenhouse project will grow baby leafy greens, such as spinach, arugula and kale.