Dartmouth opens RFQ for biomass heating project

By Erin Voegele | February 22, 2019

On Feb. 20, Hanover, New Hampshire-based Dartmouth College released a request for qualifications (RFQ) seeking credentials from companies interested in bidding on the previously announced biomass heating project.

In January, Dartmouth announced plans to build a new $200 million biomass heating facility and transmission system to replace its existing heating system, which is fueled by No. 6 fuel oil. The college said the project will change how heat is produced and delivered on campus, transitioning from steam heat to hot-water heat. The change is expected to improve heating efficiency by 20 percent, but means existing steam pipes in more than 110 campus buildings must be replaced.

The 38-page RFQ released Feb. 20 describes the Dartmouth Green Energy Project and seeks credentials from companies interested in bidding on the work. According to a statement released by the college, industry representatives are invited to visit Dartmouth to talk about the project on March 19. The presentation and Q&S session on the RFQ and request for proposal (RFP) process will also be streamed via the web.

According to Dartmouth, submissions from firms in response to the RFQ are due in April 1. Dartmouth will select three or four firms to submit detailed bids on the project. Those firms will be notified in June and required to submit bids by February 2020. The RFP winner is expected to be announced in May 2020, with commercial close and financial close currently scheduled for July 2020 and September 2020, respectively.

Dartmouth said it seeking to work in partnership with a private company to develop the new heating project. The college would pay the company to finance, build and run the new green energy system for 30 years.

The new biomass heating system is expected to be operational by 2025 and will be fueled with low-grade forestry residue material from logging and sustainable forestry operations.

In April 2017, Dartmouth President Philip Hanlon committed to transition Dartmouth to a low-carbon future. The biomass heating project is part of that effort, which aims to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from 2010 levels by 50 percent by 2025 and by 80 percent by 2050.

Additional information is available on the Dartmouth website.