By Dan Comand – Wood Buisness
A state-of-the-art clean energy system supplied and installed by Nexterra Systems Corp. was formally unveiled at the University of Northern British Columbia (UNBC) in Prince George, British Columbia.
The latest successful implementation of the company’s biomass gasification systems further positions Nexterra as a global leader in clean biomass energy solutions for institutional and industrial markets.
The UNBC project will convert locally-sourced wood residuals into clean burning syngas enabling UNBC to economically self-generate renewable heat. The system will displace up to 85 per cent of the University’s natural gas consumption, contributing to energy cost savings of approximately $500,000 per year. The system will also reduce greenhouse gas emissions by up to 3,500 tonnes per year which is the equivalent of nearly 1,000 cars off the road.
The UNBC biomass project integrates campus operations with research teaching and community development. In a region with a sensitive air shed, the system will not impact Prince George’s local air quality. The UNBC Bioenergy Project was selected as the #1 Campus Sustainability Projects in North America by the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE).
“As a University we are always looking to establish new standards,” said UNBC President George Iwama. “The objective of this project was not only to produce renewable energy but also to do it in the most sustainable way. Our wood source is just a few kilometers from campus. The building is built to LEED Gold standards. This facility was the heart of a case study that brought us the first place award for North America in campus sustainability, from the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education. We are confident we have the cleanest biomass system in North America.”
“Partnerships like the one between UNBC and Nexterra showcase not only BC’s ability to demonstrate leadership in innovation in the clean energy and technology sector, but also support our greater goals of driving strong economic growth and job creation around the province,” said Premier Christy Clark. “From local employment opportunities in manufacturing, construction and ongoing fuel supply, these are the types of projects that will secure BC’s future for the long term.”
“We are delighted to partner with such an innovative university as UNBC,” said Jonathan Rhone, President and CEO of Nexterra. “This project has helped established Nexterra as the new standard for low emission biomass energy systems leading to many new opportunities at universities and hospitals throughout the United States and Canada.”
The UNBC bioenergy project was made possible by the federal and provincial governments through its Knowledge Infrastructure Program. The project attracted $5 million from the BC’s Public Sector Energy Conservation Agreement (PSECA) and $3.5 million from BC’s Innovative Clean Energy (ICE) Fund.