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Woodchip Heating System

Woodchip Heating System


Why is Goddard College building a woodchip heating system?

Building a woodchip heating system is the smart thing to do—environmentally, economically, and to support a sustainable community. Goddard College is committed to reducing the campus’ and Plainfield’s dependency on heating oil and reducing greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to global warming. The College’s goal is to be carbon neutral by 2020. The woodchip heating system is the cornerstone of Goddard College’s Climate Action plan.

In 2007, Goddard College was among the first colleges and universities to sign the American College and University Presidents’ Climate Commitment, which now boasts 668 college and university presidents’ signatures. 

For detailed information about the  research leading to the decision to build a woodchip heating system, view the PowerPoint Presentation presentation.

How does this benefit the Plainfield community and Goddard College’s neighbors?

Aligned with the Plainfield Town Plan, this project puts Plainfield on the map as a leader in renewable energy and a steward of the environment. The woodchip heating system provides cleaner air and inspires other organizations and individuals to build sustainable communities.

The Plainfield Town Plan "Chapter 4: Energy" reads:
"Local energy sources, (wood, wind, solar and hydropower) offer distinct advantages over nonrenewable energy sources. For every dollar spent on fuel wood, only 18% of that dollar leaves the local community. The rest remains in our region, creating jobs and buying good locally. On the other hand, for every dollar spent on nonrenewable energy sources, 85% of that dollar flows out of the community."…  " Therefore, the Town of Plainfield resolves to take action that will create a sustainable energy future: one that minimizes environmental impact, supports our local economy, and emphasizes energy conservation, efficiency and the increased use of local renewable energy resources.”

Goddard College’s woodchip heating system supports the Plainfield Town Plan.

Are other schools and colleges using renewable energy?

The College follows the lead of 43 Vermont public schools using renewable energy products, often called “biomass” (wood or agricultural waste) heating systems, including East Montpelier Elementary, Calais Elementary, U-32 High School, Barre Town and Barre City Schools. Many colleges and universities across the nation, including Vermont’s Middlebury College, Green Mountain College, and Bennington College, now heat with woodchips or some form of renewable energy product. Vermont is a leader in renewable energy, promoting heating systems that reduce oil consumption and carbon emissions.

Where will the Goddard College woodchip heating system be located?

As of early fall 2011, Goddard College is in the process of obtaining building permits from the town of Plainfield and the State of Vermont. The College is proposing that the woodchip boiler building be built on the Goddard campus, accessible from the main Goddard College entrance parking lot off Route 214.  Existing trees and new plantings of trees will surround the building, which will be partially visible from Route 214.  

When will the woodchip heating system be built?

This project is currently under consideration for its building timeline.

Will the woodchip heating system make noise?

The heating system will not make noise that is greater than the current heating system. Trucks will enter and exit the main entrance of the College, and will be similar to the trucks that deliver food to the cafeteria. There will be approximately one to two truck deliveries per week during the heating season.