Biofuel heater coming along for state offices in Ray Brook

Work continues on a new biofuel heating system behind the state office complex in Ray Brook on Friday last week. (Enterprise photo — Justin A. Levine)

RAY BROOK — A new biofuel heating system designed to increase demand for local wood products while reducing heating costs for the state office complex in Ray Brook is well under way, little more than a year after groundbreaking.

The heating system is situated behind the state Department of Environmental Conservation’s Region 5 headquarters but will also serve the state Adirondack Park Agency and State Police Troop B buildings at the same location.

Groundbreaking for the building took place last summer after its construction was approved by several agencies, including the APA. The applicant for the project is officially the New York Power Authority, but the DEC will be in charge under a memorandum of understanding.

The building and silo will also be used as a display of sorts so that others interested in utilizing biofuel can see firsthand how it works.

There is a 35-foot tall green silo that will hold locally produced wood pellet fuel. The silo will need to be filled about every three weeks.

During the groundbreaking, Wild Center director Stephanie Ratcliff said her museum’s biofuel heater saved it about $30,000 in heating costs in just the first year it was installed.