LRH and Littleton Chevrolet - Partners in a Greener Tomorrow

July 17, 2016

Littleton, NH - During your travels in Littleton and surrounding towns, you may see a white Chevy 3/4 Ton Pick-Up with a very decorative wrap indicating "Partners in a Greener Tomorrow." Littleton Chevrolet is partnering with Littleton Regional Healthcare to ensure that LRH can continue to transport biomass 'fly ash' to area farmers. Littleton Chevrolet made a generous donation of $10,000 toward the purchase of a vehicle capable of transporting the ash.

Pictured is the brand new Chevy 3/4 ton pick-up that Littleton Chevrolet provided to LRH with a generous $10,000 discount. Along with the truck, from left to right is Nick Braccino, CPA, Interim President at LRH; Henri Wante, Director of Engineering and Facilities; Dick Blanchard, Biomass Plant Manager; Tim Wennrich of Meadowstone Farm; and Duane Coute, General Manager at Littleton Chevrolet.

In 2013, LRH constructed a $2.8 million dollar biomass plant that went live in January 2014. The biomass plant saves LRH approximately $400,000 in fuel costs each year. LRH expects a return on the investment in less than 4 years. The biomass plant at LRH uses a highly efficient electrostatic precipitator (ESP) to remove more than 99% of the particulate matter from the flue gas stream. The particulate matter, or fly ash, is negatively charged prior to entering the precipitator. Inside the unit at LRH, collection plates which are positively charged attract and retain the fly ash which is collected into barrels at the bottom of the unit. The ash is then recycled by local farmers to help boost production of healthy crops. This fly ash is similar to lime.

LRH currently provides 17 tons of the fly ash to Meadowstone Farm in Bethlehem; Hicks Farm in Littleton; and the Gibson Farm in Monroe. If these farmers were to place a value on the fly ash it would be equivalent to $166 per ton. This is a cost savings to local farmers of approximately $2,822 annually. The fly ash maintains a healthy level of ph for the soil, which produces a better crop.

Tim Wennrich of Meadowstone Farm in Bethlehem states, "The importance of locally grown produce has increased over the past few years. Eating locally grown produce has many benefits including the creation of local jobs, fresher and healthier food, and numerous environmental benefits. LRH offers a service that saves local farmers the added expense of purchasing lime to keep the pH level at a comfortable level. The majority of crops grown in New Hampshire prefer to grow in an only slightly acidic soil. Soil in New Hampshire tends to be too acidic and needs to be "sweetened" by raising the pH. This is ordinarily done through the use of lime which can be purchased by farmers. It can also be done with fly ash. Access to fly ash provided by LRH saves money for local farmers and helps improve their souls and pastures. We are fortunate to have community partners like Littleton Regional Healthcare and Littleton Chevrolet willing to look out for farmers in Northern New Hampshire."

Duane Coute, General Manager at Littleton Chevrolet worked with LRH to obtain this 3/4 Ton Chevy Pick-Up that was needed in order to allow LRH to continue to haul the amount of fly ash produced by the biomass plant to local farmers. Coute states, "Littleton Chevrolet is pleased to partner with LRH on this important project. More and more families and individuals prefer to purchase local grown produce for a number of reasons. Local grown food has more nutrients due to a shorter time between harvest and home; locally grown produce supports the local economy; and by purchasing locally grown produce individuals and families are reinvesting in businesses and services in their community. At Littleton Chevrolet, we cannot think of a better way to invest in the community than to ensure that farmers receive support from businesses like Littleton Regional Healthcare. We look forward to being "Partners in a Greener Tomorrow" for many years to come.

For more information about the biomass plant at LRH, please contact Henri Wante, Director of Engineering and Facilities by calling (603) 444-9261.

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