Canadian Biomass Magazine

Feds put $35M towards Whitesand First Nation biomass co-gen facility

March 1, 2023
By Canadian Biomass staff

Photo: Annex Business Media

Natural Resources Canada is investing $35 million in a combined heat and power facility for Whitesand First Nation in northern Ontario that will produce energy from wood residue for three communities and a new wood pellet plant.

Whitesand’s Sagatay Co-Generation Limited Partnership plans to construct the 6.5-megawatt co-gen facility to connect to the local micro-grid currently powered by a diesel generator. The grid consumes around 1.3 million litres of diesel a year.

The co-gen facility is part of Whitesand’s planned Bio-Economy Centre, which will include a wood pellet plant and a fully electric wood merchandising yard. The goal is to displace diesel consumption and improve local air quality.

In a news release, Whitesand First Nation Chief Allan Gustafson thanked Natural Reosurces Minister Jonathan Wilkinson for his support of the Bio-Economy Centre project.

“Whitesand’s vision of energy independence and economic growth began in 1992 when we proposed a biomass cogeneration facility. Although that proposal was not accepted, and despite the many barriers we have faced through the years, we did not give up and today our vision of a sustainable future through the use of our local forest is at hand,” Chief Gustafson said.

Sagatay Co-Generation’s David L. Mackett said the Bio-Economy Centre is an example of Canada’s low-carbon programs and support leading to economic growth, employment, GHG reduction and forestry expansion. “This project empowers an Indigenous community to enter Canada’s and Ontario’s economy while demonstrating how carbon reduction can lead to poverty reduction in similar communities across Canada.”

Whitesand First Nation has been pushing for a biomass solution for their heat and power since 1992. Read about their project here.

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