PSNH Energy Park, located at 780 North Commercial Street in Manchester, New Hampshire, is more than just the corporate headquarters of PSNH. As the northern anchor to Manchester's historic millyard, it serves as a public place or "park" where people can go for a walk, view the river, and enjoy the scenery. Located in the former Manchester Steam Plant, our state-of-the-art facility is also a showcase of environmental stewardship and sustainable design.
Green Building Design
The adaptive reuse of the 1909 Amoskeag Manufacturing Company’s Northern Division Steam Station building (later called PSNH’s Manchester Steam Plant) for PSNH’s corporate headquarters involved a thorough environmental cleanup and transformation of a crumbling landmark into an energy-efficient modern office space. Energy Park’s beams are made of recycled steel, and all wallboard is covered with recycled paper. Its sensor-controlled perimeter lighting and motion-detecting office lighting save up to 10 percent over traditional lighting methods. Extremely efficient, digitally controlled water-source heat pumps supply the building’s heating and cooling needs, while its 172 windows are insulated to conserve energy.
Rooftop Solar Array
One of New Hampshire’s larger solar arrays is generating power on Energy Park’s roof. Installed in 2009, the 51-kilowatt array of solar panels satisfies about 5 percent of the facility’s energy needs. It also offsets more than 100,000 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions each year that would otherwise be created through the burning of fossil fuels.
In partnership with the New Hampshire Fish & Game Department and the UNH Cooperative Extension, PSNH is using a plot of land at Energy Park as a demonstration of “integrated landscaping,” an approach that mimics natural systems to help support biodiversity, filter pollutants from air and water, and halt the spread of invasive species. With easy public access, the garden has become a widely used educational tool for the community.
Wind Turbine Study Project
PSNH is using a small wind turbine at Energy Park to determine the potential for future wind-power projects at the site. Installed in late 2009, the Air Breeze turbine stands 20-feet tall and four feet in diameter, with a power output of 200 watts. Freedom Renewable Energy (from Derry, New Hampshire) installed the turbine with data collection electronics, and provides PSNH with monthly reports and updates. PSNH is using the data to determine the feasibility of someday installing a larger turbine to produce electricity for Energy Park.
Permeable Pavement Parking Lot
To protect the area’s water resources by more effectively managing stormwater runoff, PSNH used a porous pavement design when expanding parking at Energy Park in 2008. The permeable surface allows water to filter through a stone reservoir under the pavement and “recharge” the soil below, rather than running off untreated into storm drains. Based on specifications developed by the University of New Hampshire and its Stormwater Center (CSTEV) the pavement section is designed to completely accommodate runoff from a 25-year storm event.
Located at the northern tip of PSNH Energy Park, the overlook offers a grand view of the Merrimack River and Amoskeag Falls. Interpretative signage on the Energy Park grounds provides descriptions of the site’s history and the role it has played in the history of Manchester.