SFU power project to convert wood waste to energy

Posted by Rumin Mann
April 29th, 2011

Simon Fraser University plans to use wood construction waste to produce heat and hot water for its Burnaby campus and its sustainable residential community UniverCity.

 

Simon Fraser University plans to use wood construction waste to produce heat and hot water for its Burnaby campus and its sustainable residential community UniverCity.

The provincial government will provide $4.7 million in funding for the project, a joint venture between SFU, SFU Community Trust and Corix Utilities, the green energy company that will be responsible for building and maintaining the facility.

The project is expected to reduce SFU’s greenhouse gas emissions by 11,000 tonnes a year, Premier Christy Clark said in making the announcement Thursday.

The plant will process urban wood waste into a fuel that can be used to generate electricity and produce thermal energy that will be used to heat the entire campus, according to Corix chief operating officer Eric van Roon.

“Combined, the system will generate 36 megawatts of thermal energy and two megawatts of electrical energy,” said van Roon.

When the university’s aging natural gas boilers are retired, the new plant will use the existing infrastructure to deliver heat and hot water to campus buildings. The new plant will also heat all the new buildings to be constructed at the UniverCity residential community on Burnaby Mountain.

“This utility will provide clean, affordable and reliable heat and hot water to all new buildings constructed at UniverCity and reduce emissions from future developments by over 60 per cent compared to standard electric-heated buildings,” said Gordon Harris, SFU Community Trust chair. The provincial investment is part of a $75-million program to help public sector organizations reduce energy consumption, energy costs and greenhouse gas emissions.

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