IDEA conference hears best practice experience from Vermont

Officials from the capital of the state of Vermont in the US were recently invited to share the experience of their successful district heating scheme at the International District Energy Association’s gathering in Seattle.

The city’s biomass district heat project is set to be fully operational at the start of October and Assistant City Manager Jessie Baker was invited to represent Montpelier and talk about their experience, so as to inform a new and similar project at Juneau in Alaska.

Baker presented a session titled “Making it Work: Implementation and Real World Experience,” sharing the story of how Montpelier started its system.
Montpelier Vermont
The project involves distributing heat from a state-owned biomass plant to public and private buildings through a system of city-owned lines.

“Residents and businesses in Juneau have to fly or ship in all their oil on freighters, which is very expensive”, she said. Referring to Alaska’s rich forestry resources she added, “There is a lot of wood there. They are surrounded by biomass.”

“For me, this trip was not only a great opportunity to share with others our success in Montpelier, but also the opportunity to talk with leadership from another capital city to share ideas and promising practices,” she said.

Baker said the energy association meeting in Seattle focused on efficient management of district systems and how they can spur community development.

“The information I gained through these sessions is directly applicable to our day-to-day work as we start the commercial operation of District Heat Montpelier in October,” said Baker. “Additionally, it was a great opportunity to speak with other municipal, governmental and private sector colleagues in the field.”

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