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Mairehau High latest school to switch to pellets

Mairehau High latest school to switch to clean, renewable wood pellet heating


Jeanette Fitzsimons
and Mairehau High School Principal Harry
Romana
Jeanette Fitzsimons and Mairehau High School Principal Harry Romana.

23 April 2008

Mairehau High latest school to switch to clean, renewable wood pellet heating

Jeanette Fitzsimons, Government Spokesperson on Energy Efficiency and Conservation, visited Mairehau High School in Christchurch today to learn about the school’s move to wood pellet heating.

Mairehau Principal, Harry Romana, and James Shand, the school’s Finance and Administration Manager, described the choice of wood pellets as a “no brainer”, saying the clean-burning, renewable fuel was by far the best of the options available.

“We commissioned a consultant to report on all options and costings,” Mr Shand says. “There’s probably another 20 years of service in our old boiler and we wanted to continue with a central system. By converting the boiler to pellets and upgrading the control systems and piping, we’ve now got a system which is much more energy efficient because we can heat each block independently and it also allows for development of new buildings on the site.”

As resource consents to heat with coal expire and are unable to be renewed because of communities’ moves to comply with the National Environmental Standards for Air Quality, many school managers and boards around the country are considering alternatives. Wood pellet producer Nature’s Flame, a Solid Energy business, is currently working with approximately 100 schools which have decided either to convert their existing system to wood pellets or to install a modern boiler specifically designed for wood pellet fuel.

The school’s conversion qualified for assistance from the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority’s (EECA) Renewable Heating for Schools Grant, a pilot project open to State-funded schools in Auckland, Rotorua, Canterbury, Otago and Southland. It provides up to $50,000 in capital funding.

Nature’s Flame Commercial Manager, Paul Coughlan, says Nature’s Flame is offering long-term supply contracts to schools which are moving to wood pellets.


ENDS

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