Biomass would be good fit for business park

I have been following the discussion of the proposed biomass district heating system in the paper from inception to date and I am not surprised that the cost of digging and installing the pipe to carry the heat to 18 existing businesses and government buildings came in much higher than expected.

The idea of a “biomass district heating system” is a good one but retrofitting it to meet the needs of an existing community that extends over a fairly large area was bound to be very expensive, particularly on the North Shore given the geology and the general cost of doing business on the North Shore.

That said, the idea seems very suitable to a concentration of buildings or businesses within a small area such as hospital complex, school complex, university, government center, retail mall, industrial or manufacturing facility, etc. or something that could be incorporated into the planning and design phase for a new office, business or industrial park.

In that regard, Grand Marais already has a business park in place, Cedar Grove Business Park, and perhaps it would make more sense to include that business park in the proposed plan rather than ripping up the existing streets to extend service to the businesses downtown or think about a separate system for the business park as an additional incentive to attract new or existing businesses to locate in the business park.

David Witte
Plymouth, Minnesota

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