Maine will receive $11.4 million in stimulus funds to convert at least 15 public buildings to wood or dual-fuel heating.
Mt. Abram High School last winter installed a new wood pellet boiler. At that time, the Governor, who has been promoting wood pellets as an alternative fuel, said their initiative is an example for others to follow.
“At Mt. Abram they are actually stimulating economic growth. Using wood pellets manufactured just eight miles done the road helps create jobs and security in the community. The economic ripple effect will be great,” said Gov. John Baldacci. “We need to be in control of our own energy supply. Seeing gas hit over $4 a gallon jeopardized businesses across the country, and has cost jobs. We never should have become so dependent on foreign energy sources. This is a shinning example of how we can begin to turn that around.”
Because of the groundwork laid by the Baldacci Administration Recovery Act funds are forthcoming for this effort. The funding will be administered through the Maine Forest Service and be made available through a competitive grant process to all Maine communities, with a preference to rural, economically depressed counties.
The funding can be used to convert buildings such as schools, hospitals, and state, county, local and tribal government facilities.
The 15 conversion projects are expected to create about 200 jobs.