More than 225 people attended the second annual Aroostook Partnership for Progress (APP) Biomass Fair, April 6 at the University of Maine Fort Kent.
"It was a steady flow of folks who showed interest and asked good questions," said APP President Bob Dorsey, according to joint press release from APP and Northern Maine Development Commission.
The fair featured more than a dozen vendors who featured the latest in pellet stoves, boilers and accessories, financing options, etc. Exhibitors included Daigle Oil Company, Maine Energy Systems, Acadia Federal Credit Union, USDA, County Stove Shop, UMFK, Center for Rural Sustainable Development, Sheridan Corporation, Northern Maine Development Commission, Quigley's Building Supplies, Northeast Pellets, Pelletco and APP.
The UMFK display highlighted how the campus is saving money by utilizing wood pellets.
"When you think about it, the University of Maine Fort Kent is leading by example," said Dorsey.
"The University of Maine Fort Kent has made a major effort to make biomass part of our long-term energy strategy, in fact our climate strategy," said UMFK President Wilson Hess, according to the press release. "We already have put in a million dollar operation that heats one and three quarters acres with biomass. We have a three million dollar project that we will break ground this spring, which will heat nine buildings on our campus, two to three building on the adjacent high school campus and will heat over 95 percent of all of our space. What that means is we save money. We keep money here locally. We cut ties to foreign oil, and we move to a carbon neutral footprint."
Tours of the UMFK pellet boiler conversion were also offered to fair attendees and were, according to the press release, well attended.
Next year's fair, in Southern Aroostook, may include additional alternative energy options, such as heat pumps, wind, propane and natural gas.
"It makes sense for us to expand to other alternatives because no one solution fills every situation and all alternatives fit in with the APP goal of reducing energy costs for Aroostook businesses and homeowners," Dorsey said.