Fuels for Schools
The Fuels for Schools programs in Vermont and several western states have been among the most forward-thinking efforts to promote greater utlization of woody biomass. Funded by the US Forest Service and more local sources, these programs have had great success in stimulating conversions to wood heat. The BURN-UP Project is largely modeled after these programs. The Information Sets section of this website includes links to some of the the best publications produced by these programs.
Fact Sheet: Local Success Stories
For schools and other similarly-sized facilities in the UP, the most convincing arguments for converting to wood heat are the success stories of UP schools that have already converted to wood. The first outreach effort of the BURN-UP Project was to produce the fact sheet, "Heating U.P. Schools with Woody Biomass." This brochure summarizes the many advantages of heating with wood and profiles the successes of UP schools that heat with wood, and describes the services of the BURN-UP Project.
Energy System Survey of U.P. Schools
In December of 2007, an Energy System Survey of U.P. Schools was distributed to all public schools in the Upper Peninsula. The survey includes basic information on the buildings and its heating system as well as the history of previous considerations of using wood as a fuel.
Wood-Heated School Tours
During April, 2008 the BURN-UP Project sponsored tours at three Upper Peninsula schools which currently utilize woody biomass heating systems. The tours were conducted at the Calumet/Laurium/Keweenaw School District (western UP), North Dickinson Schools (central UP), and Whitefish Township School District in Paradise (eastern UP), which included a visit to Environmental Industries. School personnel from several UP schools attended the tours which were very informative.
See the School Tour Photo Album.
Pre-Feasibility Engineering Studies of U.P. Schools
Five Upper Peninsula School Districts were awarded no-cost engineering pre-feasibility studies to help them determine if conversion to, or supplementing with a wood fuel-based boiler system would be a preferable alternative to their existing non-renewable fuel system. The assessments were completed for the Manistique Area Schools (middle school and high school), Munising Public Schools (Munising High School and Mather Middle School), St. Ignace Area Schools (all school buildings), Stanton Township Schools, and Tahquamenon Area Schools. Each pre-feasibility assessment evaluated the existing building construction and insulation values, current heating sytem operation, impact to the existing site, truck maneuverablility, and biomass fuel handling and equipment options. The reports found that wood chip fired heating systems are a viable option for most of these schools. Using past energy costs, estimated cost of new construction, and anticipated future energy savings, a "payback period" was calculated for each school. The BURN-UP Project will assist at least one of these schools in receiving a second (more-detailed) engineering assessment which will help them move towards converting to a woody biomass heating system.
This page last updated on 9/25/2009.