TURIN, N.Y. (WKTV) - Tours were held on Thursday all across the country to highlight what's being done to change our nation's dependency on oil.
25 events were held throughout the U.S. to demonstrate firsthand the benefits of bioenergy, which includes biomass-to-electricity, thermal heat generated from wood, wood pellet manufacturing, and forestry.
Four of those 25 events were held in the northeast.
One such facility getting a lot of attention here in New York State is the South Lewis Central School District's Woodchip Biomass Boiler System.
The 2.3 million dollar facility was installed in 2001 at the district's headquarters in Turin, about 10 miles north of Boonville.
The project was entirely funded by the state school building aid and an EXCEL (Expanding Our Children's Education and Learning) grant, which covered the local share.
The boiler system runs on wood chips, which are burned and that heat created heats water, which is used to heat the district's buildings.
South Lewis Central Schools Business Administrator Barry Yette says the district has saved at least $100,000 each of the first two years the wood chip system has been used, "We have basically escaped the fluctuation of oil. At budget time in my office, it's a much easier process when you know within a couple dollars a ton, what the price is going to be, and that takes out any crazy fluctuation."
South Lewis Central Schools Superintendent Douglas Premo says National Bioenergy Day which recognizes bioenergy facilities across the country, can only help make everyone aware how much money in the long run can be saved, and how clean these types of fuel are, if the initial investment in such projects can be found.
Premo says his district is very fortunate to have received the state funding thanks in big part to State Senator Joe Griffo, who represents parts of Oneida, St. Lawrence and Lewis Counties.