From a media release issued by Focus on Energy:

MERCER, Wis. (Jan. 6, 2009) – With the help of Focus on Energy, Action Floor Systems, LLC, a manufacturer and worldwide distributor of sport facility wood floors, recently installed a wood-fired boiler system at the company’s headquarters in Mercer, Wis. The boiler system, which was completed in November 2008, eliminates the need for natural gas in the company’s manufacturing process and also meets the space heating needs of the facility.

“The installation of the system made sense for our company, as it replaced an outdated system that was becoming increasingly inefficient and required a lot of maintenance,” said Karl Anderson, plant manager for Action Floor Systems. “More importantly it helped us comply with environmental codes, and will save the company a significant amount of money in operating cost down the road.”

The completion of the wood-fired boiler system is due in part to technical assistance and a $200,000 Implementation Grant from Focus on Energy, Wisconsin’s energy efficiency and renewable energy initiative. The project represents a total investment of $1,055,000, and has a projected payback period of about three and a half years when compared to the alternative of using natural gas to meet facility needs. The wood-fired boiler system will offset 658,300 therms of natural gas, enough energy to heat nearly 700 homes.

According to Anderson, the new wood-fired boiler system is used to produce steam for the wood-drying kilns and the buildings’ heating systems. Residual waste wood left from their manufacturing process is used to power the system. Previously the company was using two boiler systems. One was a natural gas-fired system and the other a 50-year-old wood-fired boiler. Due to limited steam generating capabilities and breakdowns of the wood-fired system, operation of the gas-fired boiler was routinely required to satisfy a portion or all of the steam demand. Because of obvious inefficiencies of the previous system, Action Floor Systems decided a new wood-fired boiler that satisfied the entire facility’s steam demand was a smart investment.