State awards $470k for Gorham mill energy project

The Executive Council has approved $470,000 in funding from the Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reduction Fund, created through the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, or RGGI, for the Fraser Papers mill in Gorham to lower its operating costs.

The funds will be used for five separate projects that will reuse existing hot air and hot water, cutting the mill’s use of oil by 729,000 gallons per year. The project also will reduce the mill’s fresh water intake by 54 million gallons a year and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 8,600 metric tons.

“With this funding, Fraser will be able to significantly reduce its energy costs and put those savings to use in other areas,” said Gov. John Lynch. who added that state officials “have been working with company officials for over a year to assist them with the rising cost of energy.”

The Fraser initiative is part of some $9 million approved by the governor and the Executive Council for a variety of green projects.

Other projects included in the approved funding:

• $7.6 million for Public Service of New Hampshire, Unitil Energy Systems, New Hampshire Electric Cooperative and National Grid to expand existing energy-efficiency programs to help customers weatherize their homes.
• $316,000 for LighTec Inc. of Merrimack to install high-efficiency lighting in 16 schools and town buildings across the state.
• $83,686 for the Merrimack Valley School District to connect its central office building to an existing biomass plant that is already providing heat to three nearby schools.
• $26,000 for the town of Gorham to replace the heating system in the Gorham Fire Station with a high-efficiency oil furnace and wood pellet boiler.
• $176,531 for the Crotched Mountain Rehabilitation Facility to replace an oil-fired heating system with heat from a central biomass system for one of its buildings. — CINDY KIBBE/NEW HAMPSHIRE BUSINESS REVIEW