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April 15, 2014
For immediate release
Sustainable biomass heat also saving on energy costs
Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal
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“When the province began awarding contracts to build biomass heating plants at schools and health facilities across the Island, we knew it was the right environmental choice,” Minister Vessey said. “We now know that, in addition to sustainable energy, the existing plants are creating cost savings that will only increase as more plants come online.”
From November 2013 – when it began operating – until mid March, a biomass plant at Athena Consolidated School in Summerside saved $12,000 compared to heating with fuel oil. The savings should increase to $18,000 in future heating seasons based on the school’s past energy use, and similar results are expected at the other plants.
Converting to biomass will save the province roughly $120,000 in heating costs each year. The contracts will have a combined economic impact of more than $500,000 annually, thanks to the labour and materials required.
Under the contracts, private-sector companies are required to design, construct, finance, and operate the biomass plants for 20 years; government is responsible only for purchasing the heat produced. In addition to Athena Consolidated School, plants are operating at Community Hospital O’Leary, Bluefield High School, Three Oaks High School, Maplewood Manor, and Summerside Intermediate School.
Biomass heat plants burn wood chips that will be produced on the Island, which reduces our province’s dependence on imported fuels and decreases our greenhouse gas emissions compared with burning fossil fuels. To further ensure acceptable emission levels, the builders of the biomass plants are required to meet discharge standards developed in consultation with the Department of Environment, Labour and Justice.
Two companies, Viessmann - Atlantic Bioheat and Wood4Heating Canada Inc., are contracted to build 11 more biomass plants in Prince Edward Island over the next two years.
Here are the provincial school and health facilities that currently use biomass heat, or will have biomass plants within the next two years.
Have operating biomass plants:
• Community Hospital O’Leary
• Bluefield High School
• Three Oaks High School
• Athena Consolidated School
• Summerside Intermediate School
• Maplewood Manor
Contracts have been awarded and biomass plants will be constructed over the next two years at:
• Western Hospital
• Summerside Young Offenders
• Souris Hospital
• Souris K-12 School
• Beach Grove Home
• Wedgewood Manor
• Prince Edward Home
• Provincial Correctional Center
• Stonepark School
• East Wiltshire School
• Eliot River School
• Morell High School