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The Montshire Museum of Science is an interactive science center in Norwich, Vermont, with more than 150 hands-on exhibits relating to the natural and physical sciences, ecology, and technology. Outdoors, visitors can explore nature trails and exhibits on wind, water, and sound in David Goudy Science Park. Visiting exhibitions, educational programs, and special events are offered throughout the year.


The Montshire’s Steps to Sustainability Offers Opportunities for Discovery

In mid-October, the Montshire Museum of Science installed a new wood pellet boiler system as part of ongoing efforts to achieve more environmentally sustainable operations at the Museum. To celebrate this move towards building a greener organization, the Montshire is hosting a series of special events that will share the Museum’s experience and offer information from experts on renewable energy.

On Tuesday, November 14, 6:30–7:30pm, the Montshire will host “Steps to Sustainability: A Path to Renewable Energy,” a panel presentation with representatives from the Northern Forest Center, Vermont Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation, Clean Energy Development Fund, and Lyme Green Heat. Using the Montshire’s installation process as a starting point, the guest speakers will expand on the role of local biomass in reducing our region’s carbon footprint and offer examples of what can be done to support such efforts. The evening will end with a tour of the wood pellet boiler.

On Saturday, November 18, 1–4pm, the Montshire will present “Exploring Energy,” an afternoon of programs highlighting different types of alternative energy. Visitors can view the wood pellet boiler, speak with local energy experts, and take part in hands-on activities at the Science Discovery Lab, which will demonstrate how electricity can be generated from wind and solar.

“We want to do the best that we can with the technology today,” said Montshire Executive Director Marcos Stafne. “As a science museum, we always want people to know how their world works. We want people to know about available solutions that help fight big problems like climate change.”

Why a Wood Pellet Boiler?
The Montshire’s decision to switch to a wood pellet boiler was prompted after a comprehensive energy audit earlier this year by Zero by Degrees, a Vermont-based consulting firm that specializes in energy-efficient projects. Along with their top recommendation of a conversion from oil to wood pellet boilers, Zero by Degrees conducted a thorough review of Montshire-specific needs and the capabilities of various vendors to meet them.

The Montshire was able to proceed with Zero by Degrees’s recommendation to work with Lyme Green Heat on the boiler installation through aid and support from Vermont’s Clean Energy Development Fund (established to increase the development and deployment of cost-effective and environmentally sustainable electric power resources in Vermont), as well as the Northern Forest Center (a nonprofit that advocates for the Northern Forest Region and helps communities benefit from forest-based economic and conservation initiatives).

The wood pellet boiler the Montshire has chosen for its heating system runs at a significantly higher rate of efficiency than the oil-burning boiler it replaced. It also utilizes a renewable resource that can be locally sourced, thereby supporting the local economy and a working forest products industry. Furthermore, as the states of Vermont and New Hampshire move forward with policies and initiatives aimed at increasing the use of renewable energy, the installation of the new boiler proved consistent with long-term plans for the region.

For more information, please contact Trish Palao, Marketing & Communications Manager at 802-649-2200 x222 or