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Concord Steam granted three-year extension at state hospital campus

Concord Steam can remain at its current location a few more years, state officials decided yesterday.

City officials in 2008 gave the utility permission to build a new wood-burning plant in Concord’s South End. But the troubled project has been delayed for years by financing and other difficulties.

In 2010, the utility got a three-year extension on the lease for its current plant on the New Hampshire Hospital campus. Yesterday, the Executive Council voted, 5-0, to approve another three-year extension, allowing Concord Steam to remain on the campus through the end of August 2016.

“This allows Concord Steam to continue until they can determine what they want to do,” said Mike Connor, deputy commissioner of the Department of Administrative Services.

Concord Steam officials have said they still hope to build the new plant, which would allow the utility to continue providing steam heat to downtown buildings.

Connor told the council that officials will have to decide “very soon” what to do with the roughly 28 state buildings that use steam, which could mean converting them to an alternative heat source.

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