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Ashland Sawmill Invests in Renewable Energy

This past Spring, our sawmill in Ashland, Maine turned on a turbine that reduces the site's carbon footprint by 1000 tonnes of C02. The turbine is part of a $1.8 million dollar investment in the mill which also included an upgrade to the boilers and an additional control room. This energy efficient project was completed just prior to the COVID-19 outbreak, which all J.D. Irving, Limited Maine operations navigated without any cases of COVID-19 or layoffs. 

The turbine will allow the site to limit their purchase of electricity, by choosing a greener option. Burning bark, that is already being removed from the logs, creates steam pressure and spins the turbine, creating its own electricity. In addition, there is now sawdust that can be transported to Grand River Pellets (GRP), JDI's pellet plant. The use of site generated mill residues as fuel also reduces landfill disposal and the ash generated from the wood can be used as a soil conditioner on agricultural land. See how JDI ash from other sites is being used on farmers fields here.

"This project is good for the environment and the business - we are reducing our carbon footprint using green energy and we are also reducing our power bill!  The project allows Ashland to support the production of green energy pellets - sending our sawdust to Grand River Pellets," says Josh Philbrook, Mill Manager at Ashland Sawmill.

"All industry is critical to Northern Maine. As a service provider company, our customers are critical to us as you are to the Northern Maine Economy. To partner in your sustainability and growth is a win for all of us here," says Scott Colton, Vice President of K-PEL industrial Serivces Inc. K-PEL, based out of Fort Fairfield, Maine was brought into the mill during the project. One of the many small businesses helping to upgrade the sawmill.

Many states, including Maine, consider sustainably harvested biomass to be carbon neutral. JDI's Woodlands Division is proud to be third-party certified by the Forest Stewardship Council® (FSC® C041515) and the Sustainable Forestry Initiative® (SFI®), making all biomass sustainably harvested.