The Wild Center to receive additional NYSERDA funding

TUPPER LAKE – Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced last week that $3 million has been awarded to 18 research institutions, technology developers and biomass-fuel businesses to encourage the growth of high-efficiency, low-emission wood-fired heating equipment.

The Wild Center museum in Tupper Lake will receive $126,000 to add two 850-gallon tanks of thermal storage to an existing combined pellet boiler and solar thermal project. The program will evaluate the improved efficiency of this system for two heating seasons, which is expected to approach 85 percent. Clarkson University will perform the third party evaluation.

The project enhances the existing pellet boiler and solar thermal system at the center installed in 2010 and funded by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority. Clarkson University already monitors the current system, the first commercial scale pellet boiler in the state, and will evaluate the new system, providing data to the state of New York to set research-based recommendations for new installations. The demonstration project has saved the Center money each year, supports the local biomass industry and keeps heating dollars local.

“We’re committed to pushing the envelope on new energy ideas in a responsible way,” said Stephanie Ratcliffe, executive director of The Wild Center. “We’re interested in the science behind energy options, so we can show people who visit the Center and our website that science. Teaming up with Clarkson University lets us bring in great engineering minds to look at and test what we achieve. One of the best things that happens in the North Country is the teamwork between organizations and this is another example of that kind of partnership at work.”

This and the other 17 projects support the governor’s Renewable Heat NY program, which looks to encourage the expansion of the high-performance biomass heating market and raise consumer awareness, support the development of advanced technology heating products, develop local sustainable heating markets and encourage the use of this renewable fuel.

“By investing in advanced biomass technologies across the state, we are actively reducing our dependence on fossil fuels and building a greener New York,” Cuomo said. “Under our Renewable Heat NY initiative, we are supporting projects that phase out old, inefficient, and polluting technologies and helping to grow the biomass clean energy industry. These efforts will encourage economic growth in local communities and contribute to a cleaner, healthier environment for New Yorkers.”