News & Press

Sandri warms to wood pellets



Recorder Staff

GREENFIELD — The 80-year-old Sandri Companies just got a little greener. Sandri has just expanded its renewable energy division, by purchasing a commercial pellet boiler business.
The local, family-owned company headquartered on Chapman Street has teamed up with New England Wood Pellets LLC of New Hampshire and New York to acquire a $3.2 million grant from the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources and ended up buying a subsidiary of the company, Propell Energy, a commercial pellet boiler business.
Laurence “Jake” Goodyear, former president of Propell, will stay on with Sandri and run its r e n ewa b l e energy division.
Goodyear said NEWP, which manufactures wood pellets, will supply them to Sandri, and the local company will take over the sale and installation of the boilers.
“It made perfect sense for Sandri to take over the equipment end of the business,” said G o o d y e a r.
“The company has been in the equipment business for years, installing (fossil fuel-fired) equipment and boilers and providing 24-hour service on them. It was a natural fit.”
Goodyear said the boilers Sandri will install are clean and efficient.
“Trucks will deliver pellets, just like oil or anything else — people don’t even have to be home when they’re delivered,” he said. “All anyone will have to do is turn up the thermostat and service the boiler once a year.”
Sandri and NEWP will use the $3.2 million grant to pay for high-efficiency, wood-fired boilers to be installed at Gre e n f i e l d Community College, the Gre e n f i e l d Fire Station, S toneleigh Burnham and Linden Hill schools and Happy Valley Organics in Whately. The grant will also pay for three solar heating systems and an energy effic iency upgrade for GCC.
The partnership between Sandri and NEWP includes a multi-year exclusive supply agreement in which Sandri will buy and resell bulk pellet fuels to residential and commercial customers.
NEWP, founded in 1992, is listed as one of the five largest manufacturers and distributors of wood pellet fuel in the United States and the largest in the Northeast.
The Sandri Companies provides motor fuels, heating oils, lubricants, waste-oil furnaces, installation and repair of heating and cooling appliances for commercial and residential use and now, a variety of renewable energy products.
Propell was founded in 2008 to market commercial- and industrial-scale pellet boilers for heating schools, office buildings, apartment complexes, hospitals and other large buildings.
“We are pleased to welcome Propell into the Sandri family,” said Timothy Van Epps, president of The Sandri Companies. “We are extremely enthusiastic about advancing the widespread adoption of pellets for heat. The acquisition of Propell and the strategic partnership with NEWP will increase the speed at which we are able to do so.”
The grant and latest purchase by the Greenfield business, whose name has long been synonymous with oil heat, will help it become a full-scale distributor of bulk and bagged wood pellets for customers, including residential ones.
Sandri also plans to install a 56-kilowatt wood-pellet boiler at its Chapman Street headquarters, at its own cost, and share costs for a similar boiler at its Fox Inn in Bernardston. There, it will also install a 10-panel solar water-heating system.
“Trucks will deliver pellets, just like oil or anything else — people don’t even have to be home when they’re delivered."
Laurence Goodyear former president of Propell Energy, now running Sandri’s renewable energy division.


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