Government of Canada to fund training program to facilitate the use of biomass CHP systems in Indigenous communities

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The biomass combined heat and power (CHP) technology allows for the generation of heat and energy by converting the energy naturally stored in forest biomass into a wood gas.

As part of an announcement made at the 21st annual BC Natural Resources Forum, minister of Energy and Natural Resources John Wilkinson announced a $1,480,000 funding to FPInnovations for the development, in collaboration with the University of British Columbia (UBC), of a program aimed to provide practical training in the areas of biomass combined heat and power operation, maintenance, and biomass supply chains to Indigenous communities.

The funding received for this project will support an innovative and direct opportunity to address a common challenge in the successful operation of CHP systems rural, remote, and Indigenous communities that implement them to move off of diesel power while making use of local forest resources. The training program also benefits from financial and in-kind contributions from UBC and a combined $257,000 funding through British Columbia’s Indigenous Forest Bioeconomy Program (IFBP) and Accelerator stream for the building of a CHP demonstration plant to be hosted at UBC, while teaching content will be developed with the support of the Lhoosk’uz Dené Nation and other Indigenous communities, in partnership with UBC.

The biomass combined heat and power technology allows for converting the energy naturally stored in forest biomass into a wood gas, then transforming it into 110kW of heat and 40kW of power. Overall, the program aims to provide support to Indigenous communities across Canada interested in developing their own local bioeconomy, with the intent of reducing remote communities’ reliance on diesel fuel for electricity and heat by switching to a clean, reliable energy from local feedstock. The training will be provided by experts in the field, including owners and operators of existing CHP systems.

The training, to take place at UBC’s Alex Fraser Research Forest in Williams Lake where a CHP plant will be built and made available to program participants, will benefit from the experience and knowledge of the Lhoosk’uz Dené Nation, that is currently in the final stages of installing a sister system in the small community west of Quesnel. Upon installation, the two units will be able to complement each other, one by displacing close to 100,000 litres of diesel per year in addition to removing the equivalent of 300 tonnes of GHG emissions annually while creating jobs in the community, the other by providing the opportunity to share knowledge and build capacity for all communities in Canada.

For more information on this project, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., Senior Researcher, Indigenous projects at FPInnovations.

Source: FPInnovations