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Sullivan County To Start Selling Thermal Energy Credits

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Sullivan County will start selling thermal renewable energy credits next week from energy produced by its biomass plant.

Utilities can purchase these thermal renewable energy credits as a way to meet state requirements to produce, or purchase, a certain amount of energy from renewable sources.

There are already more than 50 schools, hospitals and public buildings across the state selling these credits, including Rockingham County’s offices. These facilities are concentrated in the Western part of the state, and more than 70 percent of the credits are generated in Sullivan, Cheshire and Grafton counties.

Sullivan County transitioned to a wood-chip-burning biomass from fuel oil and propane in 2014. The biomass plant provides energy for heat and hot water to the county nursing home and jail.

Mary Bourque, the facilities and operations director for the county, said one reason for that transition was a desire to be less reliant on fossil fuels, and another was economic.

"One of the also cost benefits of that was to produce these renewable energy certificates which would produce an additional source of revenue for the county," she said.

Bourque estimates that the county will make about $80,000 this fiscal year by selling these credits, which would help offset some of the cost of the woodchips used to power the biomass plant.

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