Sealaska Energy Conversion Construction Begins August 31, 2010
The Sealaska Plaza in downtown Juneau will be the first commercial building in the state to be converted to wood heat, a renewable energy source. Construction on the project begins August 31, 2010. In December 2009, Sealaska announced plans to convert the plaza’s heating source from oil to a wood pellet fired boiler system. The plaza is currently heated by approximately 35,000 gallons of heating oil per year.
Synergy Systems, a wholly owned design-build and construction management subsidiary of Sealaska, will serve as the prime contractor and will coordinate with subcontractors during the life of the project. Sealaska tribal member shareholder Sam Burgeon will serve as the superintendent. Local subcontractors working on the plaza conversion include Anchor Electric, Behrends Mechanical and VRB, LLC general contractor as well as Jensen Yorba Lott, Inc.
Synergy Systems is bringing its experience in diversified construction sectors such as large medical, dental and health care projects, according to Carl Moses, Synergy’s project manager. “Synergy will coordinate all subcontractors on the project.”
The milestones of the project will include installing a supplemental electric boiler, removing the obsolete underground tank, installation of the new wood pellet boiler and erecting the extension silo that will house the wood pellets. The most visible construction will occur when the silo will be constructed on the north side of the plaza. The silo will house the wood pellets that will feed the new boiler system. It will be approximately 12 feet in diameter and capable of holding 19 tons of wood pellets.
“We are investing in this project to show that converting to biomass heating system is achievable and is a model other commercial properties can take advantage of,” said Sealaska President & CEO Chris E. McNeil, Jr. “We believe demand will grow throughout the region leading to manufacturing opportunities that will further nourish the economy.”