Clarkson plans wood boilers for Saranac Lake buildings

SARANAC LAKE – Clarkson University wants to install high-tech boilers fueled by wood pellets for its Lake Flower Avenue buildings.

Officials from the Potsdam-based university will outline their plan to use Evoworld boilers, manufactured in Troy, tonight at a special village board work session, Mayor Clyde Rabideau announced Monday in a press release. The meeting is scheduled for 5 p.m. in the village offices on the second floor of the Harrietstown Town Hall.

“We’re excited to hear about this new technology that may benefit many of our Saranac Lake residents in the years ahead with a sustainable Adirondack energy source used in a New York state-made high-tech product,” Rabideau, a Clarkson alumnus, wrote in the release.

Clarkson President Tony Collins, in a letter to Rabideau, said the college wants to install one high-tech boiler inside one of its Lake Flower Avenue buildings and another in a storage container outside the other building. Both boilers, according to the letter, would be funded by a grant from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority.

However, the exterior boiler would not be allowed under current village law, Rabideau said. Outdoor boilers are prohibited in the village by a local law created in 2005. The devices are also regulated by the state Department of Environmental Conservation.

“Notwithstanding, we Saranac Lakers need to hear about the plans and the technology, see how it can benefit both the college and our neighbors, and make the right decision from there,” Rabideau said.

Making the presentation tonight is Dr. Philip K. Hopke, who is Clarkson’s director of the Center for Air Resources Engineering and Science, and the director for the Institute for a Sustainable Environment.

Clarkson’s Lake Flower Avenue buildings are used for its Adirondack Semester programs. Last month, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced a $35 million state-funded biotech research and development partnership between Clarkson and Trudeau Institute.