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June 24, 2013 - 14:03
The Worcester Telegram

Inside Building 28 at the state prison off Route 140 hangs a giant coal hopper, an idle remnant of the days when combustible rocks fed into boilers were used to warm buildings. 

Nearby, oil-burning boilers — soon to be replaced — nestle behind heavy metal coverings. 

The building's energy future, however, sits outside Building 28. It's a boiler that can turn natural gas and water into steam, whirring away inside a temporary shelter. 

The state plans to install that boiler and others at Gardner state prison in the coming weeks to burn natural gas that will flow to the facility through about 2 miles of new pipeline built by Unitil Corp. of Hampton, N.H. 

The $3 million pipeline project extends Unitil's reach into a part of Gardner where natural gas was not previously available. Although the utility is counting on the prison becoming a big customer, Unitil is also hoping to pick up business from neighboring homeowners who have not had access to natural gas. 

"There was no pipe leading to the prison," said Kim M. Proctor, Unitil business development executive. Now, "We've got customers interested in converting, so we're letting them know about that." 

 

For the full article, click here.

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