Woodchip Burner System Helps Environment

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Mountain View School District in Susquehanna County has the Power To Save this week because it heats its buildings with a renewable resource, wood chips!

That cuts down on fuel costs. In the last 20 years, it's saved almost a million dollars.

"It's an amazing system, it's easy and it's simple, easy to maintain, and the savings are phenomenal," said Bob Taylor, head of maintenance.

The almost $400,000.00 system works like this: Wood chips are shimmied into a compartment. Once they are dumped inside, they hop on an "elevator" and go up to the "feeder". Once in the feeder, they are fed into the burner, the burner then sends the heat all over the school district.

The heating system is located at the elementary school. Once it's hot, the hot water is sent through underground pipes about a quarter-mile across the road and heats the high school as well.

The system is all controlled electronically, and will kick on once the temperature outside drops to 40 degrees.

The wood chip burner was installed back in 1991, and has since saved the school almost a million dollars!

"We actually have a formula that tells us from the amount of wood we burn, what that equivalent is in fuel oil. Two years ago, we saved $274,000.00 just by burning wood," said Taylor.

The system is used as a teaching tool as well. Students learn the importance of using renewable energy and cutting down on costs, during tours to the facility.

"They are fascinated by all the moving parts and stuff like that. When they come in, it's noisy, it's interesting for them, they are fascinated with it," said Taylor.

Cutting down on costs, and saving thousands and thousands of gallons of fossil fuels.