HANCOCK, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- It's been just a year since Pleasant River Lumber LLC opened its Hancock facility, and in just that short amount of time the mill has already received recognition at the federal level.
Pleasant River found out earlier this month that they were approved to receive grant money in the amount of $160,000 through USDA's Rural Energy for America Program (REAP). It's one of 244 projects nationwide that are focused on reducing energy consumption and lowering production costs. The Hancock Mill is using the money to help pay for it's new Biomass Boiler it had installed earlier this year.
The new boiler uses left over waste chips as feedstock as apposed to the mills previous boiler that burnt thousands of gallons of oil a month according to Pleasant River Lumber Vice President Chris Brochu. "We're burning about a half a ton of product an hour. It would take about 80 gallons to replace that," says Brochu.
Since first opening the Hancock mill last fall, Pleasant River has hired around 35 employees.
The federal grant Pleasant River Lumber received will cover about 25% of the total cost of it's new Biomass Boiler that cost around $850,000.