National Life Group announced today a biomass energy project that will meet 90 percent of the heating needs of its Montpelier campus while reducing the company’s annual carbon footprint by 45 percent. The $2 million project, scheduled to be completed in late summer, is expected to cut National Life’s annual usage of heating oil from 210,000 gallons to about 30,000 gallons. The company’s $500,000 annual heating bill will be cut roughly in half.National Life’s 500,000-square-foot headquarters is one of the largest commercial buildings in Vermont.“This project will reduce our reliance on foreign oil, reduce our greenhouse gas emissions and will create jobs in our region by supporting our forest products industry,” said Mehran Assadi, president and CEO of National Life Group.Governor Jim Douglas, who attended the announcement, praised National Life’s environmental leadership. “This company is a corporate leader when it comes to energy and the environment,” he said, noting that National Life hosts one of the largest solar electricity installations in the state.Last year the U.S. Green Building Council awarded National Life’s 50-year-old headquarters silver certification under the Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating system.National Life’s new heating system will use two biomass boilers to burn carbon-neutral woodchips from local renewable sources as fuel. A bin to hold the woodchips will be built below ground near the building’s entrance. The biomass energy system is expected to be fully functional by the end of the summer.The Montpelier-based Biomass Energy Resource Center, BERC, worked closely with National Life in the development of the biomass system. Currently there are more than 70 wood-burning biomass heating and cooling systems in use throughout Vermont, primarily in schools. National Life will be one of only a few commercial office buildings to use such a system.According to BERC, woodchip biomass systems are carbon neutral and have lower sulfur dioxide and net greenhouse gas emissions than both oil and propane. In addition, a sophisticated electrostatic precipitator and exhaust filtration system will remove on average 98 percent of any particles from the emissions, further minimizing any pollution. However, because the woodchips are green and nearly half water, occasional steam plumes may be released through the building’s emissions stack.According to Tim Shea, who spearheaded the project for National Life, “What is remarkable to me is that we’ll be heating approximately 500,000 square feet of building with the biomass system this winter and the emissions will only be that of about 12 woodstoves.” Shea said the new biomass system will cost approximately $2 million and will pay for itself in savings within five to six years.At National Life, environmental stewardship has been a long-standing commitment. In addition to the new biomass system there are numerous employee efforts to lessen the company’s impact on the environment, including recycling shredded paper for reuse as animal bedding and composting food waste. Other energy efficiency projects on the campus include installation of a 73kW solar photovoltaic system to help power the campus, a solar thermal system, water-saving fixtures in the restrooms, energy-saving light ballasts and bulbs, and more efficient air conditioners in the data center.Source: National Life. 5.12.2010
Close Forgot password? Please put in your email: Send me my password! Close message Login This blog post All blog posts Subscribe to this blog post’s comments through… RSS Feed Subscribe via email Subscribe Subscribe to this blog’s comments through… RSS Feed Subscribe via email Subscribe Follow the discussion Comments (14) Logging you in… Close Login to IntenseDebate Or create an account Username or Email: Password: Forgot login? Cancel Login Close WordPress.com Username or Email: Password: Lost your password? Cancel Login Dashboard | Edit profile | Logout Logged in as Admin Options Disable comments for this page Save Settings Sort by: Date Rating Last Activity Loading comments… You are about to flag this comment as being inappropriate. Please explain why you are flagging this comment in the text box below and submit your report. The blog admin will be notified. Thank you for your input. +1 Vote up Vote down So dumb · 401 weeks ago Ok, hotel, yes. Gas station? NO! RV Park.. NO! Restaurant, perhaps.. Report Reply 0 replies · active 401 weeks ago +1 Vote up Vote down Nonya · 401 weeks ago Bravo!! about time they do something right Report Reply 0 replies · active 401 weeks ago +1 Vote up Vote down Build it · 401 weeks ago If they are paying taxes, employing people lets get is started….Hotel will come Report Reply 0 replies · active 401 weeks ago +6 Vote up Vote down whsfan · 401 weeks ago Good choice by the city to hold off…I agree with John Brand…sounds like a bait and switch…if these investors want this bad enough and believe all the above items are possible then let them pony the $700,000 up front and when the hotel is built we will be happy to give it back to them. Report Reply 0 replies · active 401 weeks ago +4 Vote up Vote down Pain Free · 401 weeks ago As a Wellington tax payer I still don’t see a problem with this. The bottom line is the City needs to put in the services that are needed to develop the area. If the City continues to bog this down in studies and special sessions then developers are going to choose somewhere else to develop and we all lose out. There should be a very large sign on the pike stating, “Build in Wellington we are ready for you” ! Report Reply 2 replies · active 400 weeks ago +2 Vote up Vote down JDM · 401 weeks ago One thing that is making Wellington attractive to others is the fact when the lake fills back up we have plenty of that valuable commodity. I believe it needs to be in fine writing with the developer that the HOTEL has to be built whether first or last. If not they pay 100% of the cost of the sewer line extension. Report Reply 0 replies · active 401 weeks ago 0 Vote up Vote down Mr. Positive · 401 weeks ago Has there been a committment from a restraurant, RV Park or convenience store. Sounds like something switched their idea of developing the area. If there has, just say it. A motel/hotel would be great. They (developers/land owner) kind of have the city in a bind. Probably a sure deal the developers will move to some other location (exit 33) if the city does not build sewer line. Darn if you do and darn if you don’t. I would say throw the dice and see what happens, but of course the way Wellington’s luck has been going lately, who knows. Report Reply 0 replies · active 401 weeks ago 0 Vote up Vote down JDM · 400 weeks ago Exit 33 has not reliable water source. That is the reason you see no development going on around it. Mulvane is on the verge of being sued by Augusta for using too much water as it is. Report Reply 1 reply · active 400 weeks ago -1 Vote up Vote down MulvaneProud · 400 weeks ago Why do my comments never get posted? Report Reply 1 reply · active 400 weeks ago 0 Vote up Vote down notlla · 400 weeks ago How many people in Wellington, really know where the Hotel will be built. Most people think it`s across from McDonailds, Wrong, how about a mile and a half east. Let the hotel people pay for there own sewer. Report Reply 0 replies · active 400 weeks ago Post a new comment Enter text right here! Comment as a Guest, or login: Login to IntenseDebate Login to WordPress.com Login to Twitter Go back Tweet this comment Connected as (Logout) Email (optional) Not displayed publicly. Name Email Website (optional) Displayed next to your comments. Not displayed publicly. If you have a website, link to it here. Posting anonymously. Tweet this comment Submit Comment Subscribe to None Replies All new comments Comments by IntenseDebate Enter text right here! Reply as a Guest, or login: Login to IntenseDebate Login to WordPress.com Login to Twitter Go back Tweet this comment Connected as (Logout) Email (optional) Not displayed publicly. Name Email Website (optional) Displayed next to your comments. Not displayed publicly. If you have a website, link to it here. Posting anonymously. Tweet this comment Cancel Submit Comment Subscribe to None Replies All new comments by Tracy McCue, Sumner Newscow â€” By a 6-0 vote the Wellington City Council passed a resolution extending a sewer line on U.S. 160 from Meridian to the southeast corner of Seneca Road just west of the Kansas Turnpike Authority contingent upon a hotel development occurring at this location.However, the resolution did not pass with great joy, as the council got into it with the two Tulsa, Okla. developers proposing a hotel development over how expansive the resolution needs to be.Â Bob Zilm of Zilm Real Estate in Tulsa along with his partner Bill Richert of Richert Properties in Tulsa, Okla. returned to Wellington one week after initially meeting with the council during a work session over building an extended stay 80-room hotel, such as a Candlewood Suites, on the property currently owned by Tom McAlister (see story here).At that time, the council was under the assumption that a resolution would be placed before them the next week which would pay for a $700,000 sewer extension if the developers would pay $100,000 in special assessment taxes, all contingent of a hotel being constructed on site.But on Tuesday, Zilm asked if the resolution would be expanded to include a convenience store, R.V. Park, travel shop and restaurant.“Three of the four would take less time to develop than the construction of a hotel,” Zilm said. “Keep in mind that a hotel can take 10 to 12 months just in the building permit process. I think if we don’t open it up to other types of business that could hurt us and restrict us.“This would give us flexibility.”The council on the other hand wasn’t buying it. If the city is going to invest $700,000 to expand the sewer, it wants the guarantee of a hotel not one of the other kinds of businesses.“We are making quite a commitment here,” said Terry Nunemaker, Wellington City Council member. “The carrot for us is the construction of a hotel, not a convenience store.”Council member John Brand asked “Why did we not talk about this last week (at the work session)?”“I didn’t think about it,” Zilm responded.Brand said later in the meeting he felt a little “bait and switched” in that the developers were asking for one thing last week, but asking for more right before the council was going to vote on the resolution.“You build a hotel, we build a sewer,” Nunemaker said. “You do not build a hotel, we do not build a sewer.”Council member Larry Shimer said if the developers come back with new information of a convenience store owner in say January, the council could always revisit the issue. Nothing is set in stone.Zilm said in order for the project to work two of the five parts need to be developed such as a hotel and restaurant or convenience store, etc. His worry is a prospective owner for a convenience store wants to build right now, but because of the resolution being restrictive to hotels, they would have to wait.“I don’t want that to happen,” Zilm said. “We want to market the property to anyone interested.” Wellington City Manager Gus Collins said eventually the city council needs to expand the sewer line east to the turnpike anyway for possible east corridor development.Council member Kim Woodrow asked if the developers are now thinking they would not be able to attract a hotel.“We are actively pursuing a hotel and plan on getting one,” Zilm said. “What I’m saying is if a business wants to come in and start building, I don’t want to be in a position in which I have to tell them they can’t until we have a hotel in place.”Council member Chase Weber was not in attendance for the meeting.