RFP issued for Windham County Vermont modern wood heat program

By Katie Fletcher | December 04, 2014

A request for proposals (RFP) to design and administer a modern wood heating (MWH) program for Windham County, Vermont, has recently been issued by the Vermont Public Service Department’s Clean Energy Development Fund. The MWH program is focused on installing efficient wood pellet/chip heating systems in schools and municipal buildings in Windham County.

Beginning in 2015, the CEDF through the RFP plans to issue a contract or contracts for the design, development, implementation and administration of a MWH program in the county. The CEDF has created four defining factors for MWH; utilizes highly efficient combustion technology, produces low levels of emissions, supports healthy forest ecosystems and consumes local wood. All of these conditions need to be built into the program designs.

The CEDF was established in 2005 by the Vermont General Assembly for the purpose of increasing the development and deployment of cost-effective and environmentally sustainable electrical power resources. The focus of the initiative is on renewable energy sources, and the use of combined heat and power technologies, both reflected in the goals of the MWH program.

Four main goals were established by the CEDF. The primary goal of the program is based on advancing the market for wood heat in Windham County by replacing fossil fuel heating systems with MWH systems in schools and municipal buildings. The aim is to have the fossil fuel heating systems for back-up or supplemental heating use to new MWH systems. The second goal identified leveraging the program, both its’ activity and funds, to maximize the number of energy efficiency measures completed at buildings installing the MWH systems. Goal three utilizes the program’s activity and funds to maximize cost effectiveness and energy cost savings accompanied with the installed systems. The fourth goal listed in the RFP is to maximize the number of MWH systems installed and the amount of square footage heated with MWH appliances.

The MWH systems under this county program must meet an 80 percent efficiency standard and limit particulates to no more than 0.2 lb per MMBtu output. An emphasis on sustainably harvested local wood, or wood primarily harvested or processed for pellets within a 50-mile radius from where it is consumed, should be included in the program as well.

The CEDF has allocated the maximum $1.6 million of Windham County funds reserved for the creation of a modern wood heating system program in the fiscal year 2015 annual plan.

RFPs were issued Nov. 19, questions pertaining to the request that are posed only in writing will be answered until Dec. 10, and the RFP application deadline is Jan. 7. More information detailing the RFP and applicant information can be found here.