Progress with Regulations Will Increase Use of Heating Wood Pellets
Biomass Heating for Interior BC Community
The Esk’etemc indigenous community in Alkali Lake, BC, recently installed biomass boilers to facilitate a transition from fossil fuel community-heating to a more stable, long-term biomass heating solution. Phase 1 of this project to convert from propane to biomass was completed in summer 2019 with the installation of two boilers which heat eight buildings in the community.
Phase 2 began in autumn 2019 and will involve the installation of more boilers to heat five additional community buildings, as well as the construction of a biomass drying shelter to keep the moisture content of feedstock below 30 per cent.
The Forest Enhancement Society of BC (FESBC) is providing funding to the Esk’etemc to use woody biomass from a wildfire-risk reduction project as feedstock. Slash piles will be ground into chips and hauled to the biomass drying shelter before being used to heat community buildings. Funding for the project’s infrastructure was provided by Canada’s federal government.
Phase 3 of the project will deliver heat to additional institutional buildings and residences in the community.
Ontario Biomass Plant Gets PPA Extension
Massachusetts-based Atlantic Power announced an extension to the power purchase agreement (PPA) associated with its Calstock bioenergy operation in Hearst, Ontario. The 35 MW Calstock plant PPA, which was set to expire in June 2020, has now been extended to December 16th, 2020 on existing terms.
The extension will provide the provincial government with time to evaluate the future role of the Calstock facility and biomass power generation in Ontario.
The plant’s bottom line is expected to suffer this year due to an expected increase in feedstock costs as local mill production has decreased considerably during the COVID-19 pandemic.