Gold Dust




Though he’s easily over six feet tall, Steve Walker is dwarfed by the dark mountains of sawdust behind him. Color that brown dust gold: It is the humble raw material that built Walker’s /n/n10 million business, New England Wood Pellet. Walker’s business is growing fast — about 40 percent this year — and, with the spike in oil prices, it’s getting media attention from the likes of CBS News and The New York Times. Only 38 years old, Walker is already an old-timer in the wood pellet business. In 1992, Walker, then living in Acton, Mass., learned that the wood pellets a friend used for his stove came from Montana. Figuring that there was no reason pellets couldn’t be manufactured locally, Walker went over to a local Blue Seal to see how they made animal feed pellets. Soon after that, Walker started manufacturing pellets, one at a time, in the basement of his home. “I learned slowly and painfully that the production process is not the same for wood pellets as for feed,” Walker says. In 1995, Walker moved his growing business to Jaffrey, N.H. The former basement business now produces over 75,000 tons of pellets a year and is one of the largest wood pellet manufacturers in the country. Walker is buoyantly optimistic about the future of renewable energy. “Everyone, from homeowner to CEO, should spend time looking at ways to cut their energy use,” he says. “People need to realize that energy conservation doesn’t mean compromise. You don’t have to freeze or drive slowly. Between wind, solar, geothermal and biomass, we don’t need to use fossil fuels in this country.” Then, proudly gesturing to his enormous production facility, Walker says, “Fossil fuels are always trying to hide — their pollution, their damage to the environment and to human health. We want to be seen!” For more information, visit www.pelletheat.com.
Edit ModuleEdit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleEdit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Calendar

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Popular Articles

  1. The Soothing Power of Reiki
    Reiki and other complementary approaches to wellness, such as art therapy, aromatherapy and...
  2. When Is it Too Late for Plastic Surgery?
    More and more seniors are saying it's never too late and are signing up for various procedures....
  3. Tamworth Distillery's Local Spirits
    This farm-to-bottle distillery brings creative alchemy to a small town in New Hampshire.
  4. Find Your Own Food - Foraging in New Hampshire
    It doesn’t get much more local than stepping outside and finding things to eat. Learn about how...
  5. Guide to Antiquing in New Hampshire
    It’s August, which means it’s almost time for the 58th annual NH Antiques Week. To mark this...
  6. Running Strong
    In June 95-year-old George Etzweiler became the oldest person to finish the 7.6-mile Mount...
  7. New Hampshire’s Northern Tip
    A trio of towns — Pittsburg, Clarksville and Stewartstown — fill the narrow triangle at the...
Edit ModuleShow Tags