Recap of Stories about Plymouth, NH in Green Energy Times
Plymouth water and sewer array, February 2015
A new solar array belonging to the Plymouth Village Water and Sewer District began producing power in December of 2014. It was built with the help of a coalition of a large number of people and organizations. The project started in earnest in 2012, when water and sewer officials started looking into ways to reduce costs. Plymouth Area Renewable Energy Initiative (PAREI) and New Hampshire Electric Cooperative (NHEC) responded by giving assistance with getting a $317,000 grant from New Hampshire’s Renewable Energy Fund.
Greenest school list from Greenpeace, October 2014
Plymouth State University’s environmental sustainability efforts caught the attention of the country’s largest environmental advocacy group. The Sierra Club has named PSU to its list of America’s Greenest Schools. According to the Sierra Club, the rankings are based on “an extensive questionnaire that asks about everything from where a campus gets its energy to whether its landscapers use native plants and its cafeterias offer recycled napkins.” Brian Eisenhauer, PSU’s Director of Environmental Sustainability, said he’s proud of the institution’s efforts in being “green.”
The Common Man, October 2014
The Common Man Inn is in a building that was previously an abandoned wood mill. It had, in its heyday, manufactured tongue depressors, Popsicle sticks, and paint stirrers. Owner Alex Ray had the 60,000 square-foot mill transformed into an inn with 37 overnight rooms, two event halls, a spa, and a salon. The mill’s old boiler room became a three-story-tall restaurant and lounge named in honor of its original function, “Foster’s Boiler Room.” The renewable energy features of the inn are impressive. As much as practically possible, natural resources are used for energy.
Energy-efficient Campus Rentals, August 2014
PAREI gave us two good examples of green off-campus student housing in Plymouth. Don Stoppe runs Campus Edge Apartments Plymouth. Micah McLane, operates Off Campus Rentals. Both are passionate about renewable energy and efficiency, and the results show in their rental units. Solar photovoltaics (PVs), solar thermal hot water and heat, heat pumps, and highly efficient insulation and air sealing have produced rental units that are cozy and inexpensively heated. Best of all, they are kind to the environment.
Net Zero Sun-Powered Health Care, August 2013
Dr. Jennifer Highland has an office that is close to net-zero energy use. She says, “Going solar at my medical office was a no-brainer; it was just a question of working out the details. As a doctor, I find it impossible to separate the health of the environment from the health of the individual. New scientific studies every year are documenting the ways in which toxic substances released into the environment affect human health. This applies to chemical waste and food additives, but also to noise and light pollution and climate change.”
Rand’s Hardware in Plymouth, December 2012
Steve Rand, at Rand’s Do it Best Hardware in Plymouth, could teach a course on fitting up old buildings for energy efficiency. He got a lot of experience refitting the building his hardware store is in, and which also has two other businesses and eight apartments. He got help with an energy audit, by Better Buildings New Hampshire and from PAREI, which eased the paperwork problems. Solar hot water, new insulation and skylights, new air sealing, new windows, and a new furnace reduced energy use impressively. Solar PVs are planned.
Pemi Baker Health Spa, June 2013
Pemi-Baker Community Health had two separate solar thermal energy systems. Design details were worked out with help from PAREI. One installation has two roof top evacuated-tube solar thermal collectors with a total of sixty tubes to pre-heat the water in a 119 gallon tank that feeds the primary electrically heated water tank. The other installation has eight solar thermal collectors, totaling 240 tubes, installed on the ground outside the facility to provide heat for the facility’s 18-by-36-foot therapy pool, saving 750 gallons of propane each year.…