B.C. City’s Biomass Energy Plan Moves Forward

Nelson Hydro will hold an open house in the early fall to update the public on the progress of its plans to heat selected public buildings in Nelson using heat created by burning lumber mill waste. Fiona Galbraith, a local consultant for Nelson Hydro, says the project at full capacity would use only 15 percent […]

Nelson Hydro will hold an open house in the early fall to update the public on the progress of its plans to heat selected public buildings in Nelson using heat created by burning lumber mill waste.

Fiona Galbraith, a local consultant for Nelson Hydro, says the project at full capacity would use only 15 percent of the available wood waste in an area within 80 km of Nelson. She said the biomass boiler would not be recognizable as an industrial building and would take up an area about the size of the tennis courts at LakesidePark. She said it would produce minimal emissions because of advanced combustion technology and there would be a maximum of two delivery trucks per day in the coldest part of the year. Its location has not been decided yet.

The biomass boiler would produce heat, not electricity, heat that would otherwise be produced by natural gas, which Galbraith says has a larger greenhouse gas footprint than waste wood.

The plan for the district energy system — a local energy source for specific buildings — has been in the works for several years. In 2014, a consultant hired by Nelson Hydro determined that biomass would be more cost effective than the other alternatives being considered at the time including geothermal.

The buildings under consideration to be heated by the biomass project are city hall, the Civic Centre, the Community First Health Co-op and the hospital, although no final decision has been made by the owners of any of these buildings. Last year the indoor soccer building and the curling club were under consideration but after an examination of those buildings by a mechanical engineer, Galbraith said there may be too much retrofitting required. The goal is to get memorandums of agreement in place with specific buildings by early next year for consideration by city council.

From the Nelson Star: http://www.nelsonstar.com/news/388875831.html

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