To celebrate Earth Day and build on B.C.'s leadership on green energy and green jobs, Premier Christy Clark today announced provincial funding for a new biomass energy project at Simon Fraser University that will eliminate 11,000 tonnes of greenhouse gases every year.
"B.C.'s role as a world leader in clean, renewable energy is a powerful economic driver that's creating green jobs and new investment across the province," said Premier Christy Clark. "This new biomass facility at SFU will convert construction waste and waste energy into heat and hot water for students, residents and facilities throughout the community."
The Province is providing $4.7 million to support the partnership between SFU, SFU Community Trust and Corix Utilities for a thermal energy system for the Burnaby campus and UniverCity, the sustainable community on Burnaby Mountain.
Fuelled by construction wood waste, combined with a process that captures waste energy from the university's technical equipment, the plant will provide heat and hot water for new development at UniverCity and nearly all of the heating needs at the university campus.
"The provision of thermal energy to the entire Burnaby Mountain community provides a unique model for district energy projects in B.C.," said SFU president Andrew Petter. "As Canada's most community-engaged research university, Simon Fraser is committed to implementing as well as researching sustainable energy solutions. This project is an innovative and efficient system that reflects SFU's determination to be a community leader in sustainable practices."
"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. "As a leading sustainable community, we are proud to be a partner in bringing a clean, cost-effective energy system to Burnaby Mountain."
Even greater emissions reductions are anticipated at the university campus where aging natural gas boilers will be replaced.
"It promises to be one of the greatest emission reductions we've seen from a public sector organization since we challenged the sector to achieve net-zero carbon emissions," said Environment Minister Terry Lake. "It's going to be exciting to watch this project transform an entire community and influence the next generation's thinking and behaviour."
"This project is a great example of how we approach sustainable development," said Brett Hodson, president and CEO, Corix Infrastructure. "By applying our multi-utility approach and relying on our significant experience with district energy systems, many using alternative energy sources, Corix will be able to cost-effectively deliver a broad range of benefits to UniverCity and SFU."
B.C.'s investment is part of the $75 million Public Sector Energy Conservation Agreement (PSECA) established in 2008 to help universities and all other public sector organizations save energy, reduce emissions and make B.C. North America's first carbon-neutral government.
- The PSECA fund has supported 247 projects, created an estimated 500 jobs, saved taxpayers $12.6 million annually and reduced GHG emissions by 35,600 tonnes.
- Eighty-six green infrastructure jobs will be created during design and construction of the Simon Fraser University and UniverCity project.
- SFU Burnaby's emissions are expected to drop by 80 per cent or 11, 000 tonnes a year, equivalent to emissions from more than 900 homes.
- Corix, a B.C. company, will own the utility and be responsible for costs associated with building and maintaining it, if approved by the BC Utilities Commission.
- B.C.'s Clean Energy Plan: www.energyplan.gov.bc.ca/PDF/BC_Energy_Plan.pdf
- B.C.'s Climate Action for the 21st Century: www.env.gov.bc.ca/cas/pdfs/climate_action_21st_century.pdf
Green Careers Glossary:
- Biomass power; biopower -
Biopower creates electric power from organic material such as manure, crops, wood resources and processing residue, food and yard waste, and municipal bio waste. Biomass can be converted to electricity, biofuels, space heating/cooling, or process heat.
- Cleantech; clean energy -
Products, processes, and services that depend on renewable energy sources, minimize waste, and use natural resources judiciously.
- Diverted waste -
Waste that doesn't make its way to landfill because it is reused, recycled, or composted.
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