MONTPELIER — It took longer than expected and there is still some work to be done, but Montpelier’s district heat distribution system is complete and should be operational on a limited basis in about 10 days.
Kingsbury Companies LLC officially turned the new distribution system over to the city Wednesday in what City Manager William Fraser described as a significant milestone in bringing the renewable energy project online.
Though the system will eventually serve the capitol complex and much of the downtown, that conversion won’t occur until next year. This year the system will be fueled by the boilers in City Hall.
The “mini system” will provide heat for City Hall, the city’s schools and a limited number of private customers this winter, buying time for the state to complete a central heating plant that will include two biomass boilers.
Starting next week the city, working with Hallam-ICS and EverGreen Energy, will complete commissioning of the “mini system.” That will involve filling the distribution system with treated water and firing up the City Hall boilers.
Most of the remaining work will occur in City Hall and customer basements, though public works employees will likely be on the street exercising valves while the system is being tested. It is due to provide heat to customers starting the week of Dec. 9.
Fraser said the remaining work will require only minimal traffic interruption. “We appreciate the public’s and business community’s patience during construction and understand that it was very disruptive,” Fraser said.
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