Peterborough Library gets $300,000 grant for biomass boiler system

  • The Peterborough Town Library has secured a grant for $300,000 from the Public Utilities Commission to install a wood pellet heating and cooling system in the soon-to-be renovated library. Staff photo by Ashley Saari—Monadnock Ledger-Transcript

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Published: 8/21/2018 10:53:46 AM

The Peterborough Town Library has secured a $300,000 grant for a wood pellet boiler to be installed during the renovation of the space.

The boiler will be used both to power heating and cooling in the building, the first of its kind in the country to be used for cooling, according to Peterborough Town Administrator Rodney Bartlett.

The library is currently preparing for a major renovation of the existing library and construction of a large addition, which is expected to cost $8.5 million. The library, as of July, had raised $7.2 million of those funds, including a $3 million bond approved by town voters in May. 

“It’s very important to the library project that we try to put renewable energy sources in the building, because we know that’s something that’s important to the town and to the residents,” said Corinne Chronopoulos, the library’s director. “So we are prioritizing that.”

The library received a $300,000 grant from the Public Utilities Commission, which will not cover the entire cost of the boiler, Chronopoulos said, but will help to cover some of the upfront costs of installation.

Heating and cooling is a major issue in the library as it exists today, Chronopoulos said. One of the library’s cooling units has already failed, and there is no air conditioning in the section of the building where her office is located. The building is heated with an oil boiler, but there’s no way to efficiently manage the heating of the building when it’s unoccupied, Chronopoulos said.

“We just have to leave it up all the time. Our heating bills are exorbitant,” Chronopoulos said. 

The library will be joining four other town buildings that are run on biomass fuel, including the Town House, police station, wastewater facilities and community center. 

Construction of the library addition and renovation of the existing library is expected to start this fall and take about 18 months. During the construction, the library will be housed at a temporary location on Vose Farm Road. 


Ashley Saari can be reached at 924-7172 ext. 244 or She’s on Twitter @AshleySaariMLT. 


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