Canadian Biomass Magazine

BC pellet mill adds green power plant

October 13, 2011
By Pratt & Whitney

Oct 13, 2011, Toronto - Nechako Green Energy and Pratt & Whitney Power Systems announced today at the CANBIO annual general meeting that the pellet maker will be adding a heat recovery power plant to its Premium Pellet operation in Vanderhoof, BC.

Pratt & Whitney Power Systems has been awarded a contract to deliver a 2 megawatt biomass heat recovery power plant for Nechako Green Energy Ltd. in Vanderhoof, British Columbia. The state-of-the-art power plant will provide clean, carbon-neutral power to the company’s Premium Pellet plant operation, and marks the first ever Organic Rankine Cycle (ORC) installation in a forest products facility built by Turboden in North America. Turboden is a Pratt & Whitney Power Systems company, and Pratt & Whitney is a United Technologies Corp. (NYSE:UTX) company.

“This biomass-based ORC unit is the first project of its kind in a Canadian mill, with significant potential for replication across the sector,” said Alan Fitzpatrick, President of Nechako Green Energy Ltd. “There is a tremendous opportunity to unleash clean energy generation from biomass resources using this technology. This ORC unit will allows us to become much more energy and cost efficient.”

The Turboden ORC unit includes a special evaporator/preheater and turbine and will operate at 280 degrees Celsius, providing the pellet plant with 2 MW of renewable electrical power at max load. The plant produces 140,000 tonnes of high-quality, premium-grade wood pellets annually, and the ORC unit uses thermal oil from an existing biomass system to burn the mill’s residual hog fuel and waste bark, which would otherwise be sent to a landfill.

“This biomass project builds upon our growing presence in North America, where we have developed several other projects in heat recovery and solar thermal applications,” said Alessandro Foresti, Director of Turboden. "Biomass-fuelled power generation is one of the cleanest, most cost-effective ways to lower fuel costs and GHGs, and we’re proud to help Nechako lead the way in on-site renewable energy production for British Columbia and Canada.”


Installation of the Turboden ORC unit is funded in part by a contribution from the Investments in Forest Industry Transformation program, an initiative by Natural Resources Canada to invest in innovative technologies helping transform Canada’s forest sector. Turboden, a Pratt & Whitney Power Systems company, is an Italian company and a global leader in the design, manufacture, and servicing of Organic Rankine Cycle (ORC) turbogenerators, which harness heat to generate electrical power from renewable sources, including solar energy, biomass, geothermal energy and waste heat. Turboden and Pratt & Whitney combined  have over 250 ORC power plants sold in more than 20 countries and offers standard turbogenerators from 250 kWel to 4 MWel (standard units) and up to 12 MWel (customized units). Turboden is a specialist in ORC technology.

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