1. Why is the steam plant being relocated?
CSC currently has a 30-year lease with the State of NH at its current site on Pleasant St. That lease is due to expire in 2010. In order to upgrade our facility and increase operational efficiencies, we have determined that we will need a site that is larger than the one the current one. The site on South Main St. will allow us to meet those additional space requirements with little or no impact on the surrounding community.
2. How will the wood chips be stored?
Wood will be stored on site in silos. CSC currently maintains a wood-yard in Pembroke NH where all of our outside storage takes place. This wood-yard is capable of storing over 60,000 tons of wood chips and is more than adequate as a surge requirement storage facility.
3. Will there be a lot of traffic?
No, the amount of traffic generated by this facility is very limited. We expect to have approximately 25-35 trucks coming to the facility each day over a 12 hour period (7AM-7PM) 5 days a week. That equates to approximately 3 trucks per hour. We also will have about 25 employees who will mostly work from 7AM until 3:30PM, generating an insignificant amount of traffic early morning and mid-afternoon.
4. Isn’t this going to create a lot of noise?
Although there will be some noise associated with the plant it will be minimal and generally only during the weekday business hours when we are receiving wood. We have existed in a residential neighborhood for nearly thirty years at our current location and have had only a few noise complaints over the entire time. The new facility will be quieter than the older existing facility.
5. Will the plant be lit up all night?
No, it is our intent to keep the lighting impact on the surrounding neighbors to a minimum. Because our nighttime operation is mostly indoor activity, the lighting requirements for evening/night operations will generally not be visible to the local neighborhood.
6. What is coming out of the stack?
The plant will emit stack gases that have been cleaned up by pollution control equipment and are in accordance with guidelines of the Federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the State Department of Environmental Services (NHDES). We will have continuous stack-monitoring equipment installed to measure our stack output to insure we are continuously in compliance with the guidelines provided by the EPA and NHDES. We will be the cleanest wood fired plant in New Hampshire.
7. If that is true- what is the white smoke that I sometimes see coming from the stack?
The visible plume that is sometimes seen is the water is from the green wood fuel we burn. It condenses in cold air and takes the form of a cloud. This “steam plume” is harmless to the atmosphere and the environment in general. The reason this is not seen year round is that it only occurs when outdoor temperatures are around the freezing mark and this happens only during the winter months. So while there will be visible plume from time to time, most of the time (270-300 days/year) local residents won’t see one, even though the plant is operating.
8. What will the plant look like?
The plant will be designed and constructed in a manner to look like older railroad or mill buildings in style and layout. Our desire is to have it blend in with the south-end marsh area looking as aesthetically pleasing as possible.
9. Will there be any impact on the South-end Marsh?
No. We will have taken every precaution to insure there is no environmental impact on the marsh. We will not be using water from nor discharging water to the marsh. Our plans include a nature trail around the accesible areas of the marsh.
10. How does this new plant help the local economy?
Concord Steam replaces 12 million gallons of imported oil/fossil fuels and sends over $8 million back to the local forest industry rather than overseas. We will employ 25 people; our thermal energy specialists include highly qualified customer service personnel, engineers, operations managers, full service maintenance department and energy management analysts. Each year we will pay nearly three times more in city taxes than we do at our current site (estimated taxes will be $400K per year vs. 120K per year now), and nearly $200,000 in city water and sewer fees. Over 90% of our maintenance and repair materials are bought from local merchants generating over $200,000 annually back to the local economy. We have heated Concord safely, cleanly, reliably, and cost effectively with steam for almost 70 years, and look forward to doing so for another century.