P.E.I.: Biomass installation protects the environment, supports local businesses
By Government of P.E.I.
October 30, 2015 - Besides being the right environmental choice, biomass heating reduces greenhouse gas, supports local industry and is providing heat for a number of government facilities including Wedgewood Manor, says Transportation, Infrastructure and Energy Minister Paula Biggar.
By Government of P.E.I.
“Biomass heat is a local, renewable, carbon neutral resource, and government is leading the way for biomass heat in Prince Edward Island, with installations in 13 government facilities, and seven additional installations coming online in early 2016,” said Biggar.
Island biomass installations have displaced 2.4 million litres of fuel oil which resulted in a reduction of 6,500 tonnes of greenhouse gas and cost-savings of over $200,000 since 2012. In 2016, Island biomass installations will result in a reduction of 2.6 million litres of fuel oil and 7,200 tonnes of green house gas, per year.
“Prince Edward Island’s total energy mix is made up of approximately 10 per cent biomass energy and the provincial government is supporting the development of biomass energy production in public facilities,” said Biggar. “Biomass is a locally available renewable energy resource that will continue to play an important role in our renewable energy mix.”
Along with the environmental benefits, biomass installations create economic benefits for the forestry industry. One tonne of biomass chips can produce up to 4 megawatt hours of heat, which displaces approximately 580 litres of fuel oil. When biomass chips are harvested through selective thinning of Island forests, this improves forest growing conditions, improves tree growth, and enhances biodiversity.
Mathieu LeBlanc of ACFOR Energy specializes in sustainable forest management.
“With good planning, biomass wood chips are a renewable, inexhaustible resource, as long as the forests are managed sustainably,” said LeBlanc. “Selective thinning of Island forests for use in biomass ensures less crowding of the superior trees, better access to sunlight and water, and all in all, leads to improvements of the health of the forest.”
ACFOR Energy is one of four companies who design, construct, finance and operate biomass installations and sell heat to government facilities. This allows for a predictable cost of heat for government facilities while creating jobs and economic activity for local business.
Currently operating installations include:
- Westisle Composite High School
- Evangeline School
- Kings County Memorial Hospital
- Western Hospital
- Maplewood Manor
- Community Hospital
- Wedgewood Manor
- Summerside Intermediate School
- Athena School
- Three Oaks High School
- Bluefield High School
- East Wiltshire High School
- Provincial Correctional Centre
- Beachgrove Manor
- Stonepark High School
- Elm Street School
- École sur Mer
- Miscouche School
- Elliot River School
- PE Home
- Morell High School
- Souris K-12 School
- Souris Hospital