Major Energy Improvements Under Way at UMM Campus
The September 2nd issue of the Bangor Daily News featured an interview with Bob Farris, UMM's director of physical facilities, about all of the recent and planned energy improvements on campus.
MACHIAS, Maine — Bob Farris walked around the University of Maine at Machias’ campus Wednesday afternoon with a clipboard tucked under his arm and a forward-thinking attitude. He was talking energy: energy savings, energy use reduction, and energy reuse.
Farris, UMM’s director of physical facilities for the past five years, talks about boilers like many people casually converse about grocery shopping. He points to rain gutters, crawl spaces and shows off newly installed efficient boilers like a proud papa.
Farris’ work to “green” the UMM campus is paying off. Many of the latest improvements were funded through a $26.5 million bond approved by voters in June 2010. The bond was aimed at providing energy independence, efficiency and green jobs, with $15.5 million of the total earmarked for energy improvements at Maine’s public universities and colleges.
Deep underneath one of the dormitories, Sennett Hall, Farris pointed to an old boiler. “That boiler uses three gallons of oil per minute,” he said. Showing off a new energy efficient boiler, he said, “This one uses 1.4 gallons per minute.” The new one will be used at the dorm 80 percent of the time, he said. The older, “workhorse” boiler will kick in only when the outside temperature drops below zero.
“Last year, the university burned 141,000 gallons of oil,” Farris said. “And that represents a 30,000 gallon savings over the past four years.”