The state Department of Public Utilities has approved a contract between Simonds International, a leading provider of industrial cutting tools, and Unitil that permits the utility to deliver natural gas to the company at a rate specifically designed for its cogeneration system. The cost savings achieved by the cogeneration plant will help Simonds retain 150 jobs at its Fitchburg headquarters and enable future employment growth.
Ray Martino, President and Chief Executive Officer of Simonds, said, “We are extremely grateful to our public officials for their commitment to clean energy and support of this particular collaboration. The DPU’s swift approval of these special contracts allows us to move forward with our cogeneration project, which will net significant savings in energy costs and enable employment expansion in the region.”
Cogeneration is a form of energy recycling by which heat and electricity is generated simultaneously. For Simonds, this process will create enough electricity to run the plant, while producing the energy required to heat and cool the entire facility. Simonds estimates that these efficiencies will save the company approximately 40% per year on energy costs and support 35 construction jobs.
“Simonds is part of the economic fabric here in Fitchburg,” Todd Black, Senior Vice President of External Affairs for Unitil, said. “Unitil has partnered with Simonds to do everything possible to help control energy costs and keep these jobs in the city.”
The cogeneration system is scheduled to go online in October 2011. Simonds will be hosting an event at that time to thank its partners on both the state and local levels for this significant energy-savings achievement.