Feasibility Assessment for Biomass Heating Systems Aniak & Kalskag High Schools

Coffman performed a preliminary biomass feasibility assessment for the Kuspuk School District to determine the technical and economic viability of biomass heating systems at Aniak High School in Aniak, Alaska and the George Morgan Sr. High School in Kalskag, Alaska. The study evaluated Garn style cordwood boiler systems that would supply the majority of heat to the schools.

The proposed wood boilers would be located in detached modules and heating pipes would connect to a new heat exchanger in the school’s mechanical room. The existing heating oil boiler would still supplement heat in the schools during colder days during the heating season.

Due to the low price of heating oil at $2.60/gal, the benefit to cost ratios for each high school is less than 1.0 and therefore the cordwood boiler systems at the schools are not economically justified at this time.

However, the price of heating oil has varied greatly over the past couple of years and as heating oil prices rise the projects can become economically viable. When heating oil reaches $3.25/gal the cordwood boiler projects at both high schools become economically justified.