Monday, February 27, 2012

36 MW First Nations biomass project moving forward in Northern Saskatchewan

Engineers are designing the $150 million CAD Meadow Lake Bioenergy Centre that will be built on 10 acres of land at Norsask Forest Products east of the city in Northern Saskatchewan. The site will be prepared this summer and the majority of construction done in 2013 on the structure that will burn wood by-products to produce enough green energy to power 36,000 homes.

“We’re very focused on it,” said Ben Voss, president and CEO of resource development for Meadow Lake Tribal Council (MLTC). MLTC signed a 25-year agreement with SaskPower in 2011 to sell the utility power. About 200 workers will be needed for the construction phase, said Voss. They include people who haul gravel, heavy equipment operators, steam pipe welders and millwrights. “We want to try to work as much as possible on training and seeking ways to get people from our own communities involved,” said Voss. Gord Iron runs a program at MLTC that will identify workers who have the proper skills. Skilled trades workers will also be drawn from Robwel, Tron Power and construction companies, said Voss. The crew will likely be accommodated in Atco trailers near the construction site, at Flying Dust or at Canoe Lake.

“There are a number of other business opportunities for the area,” said Voss. “You have 200 people working. They need to be fed. They need to be taken care of. There are a number of other services that go with that.” The Bioenergy Centre will work much the same way as a steam locomotive, he said. “You literally have a place where the fuel is pushed in and it’s burning,” he said. “That burns very hot and produces steam through a boiler. The steam is then put through a pipeline to a turbine and the turbine is the same thing as you’d see on an aircraft… the steam drives the turbine and the turbine drives a generator that makes electricity.”

The Bioenergy Centre will produce 36 megawatts (36,000 kilowatts) of power. Voss said a typical home in Saskatchewan consumes one kilowatt. The power will be fed into the grid and transmitted to homes, farms and businesses. “The electricity that comes to Meadow Lake right now is generated (far away) in places such as Estevan or Saskatoon,” he said. “When it’s transported that far there are transmission losses. By putting generation right in Meadow Lake it reduces that loss.” SaskPower president and CEO Robert Watson said the utility must double its production over the next 10 to 15 years to meet the increased demand for power. It wants to use green power to close the gap. If all goes according to plan, the Bioenergy Centre will be up and running in 2014 seven days a week, 24-hours a day.

Source: The Meadow Lake Progress

4 comments:

  1. Chad,

    I am very interested in the scope and metrics of this project. As you know, I sell water and wastewater treatment equipment, knife gate valves, pumps and an indirectly heated high efficiency dryer. This sounds like a potential perfect application. There are many examples of this dryer being used in a cogen scenario. Give me a call or email me any more specifics (engineer, etc.).

    jnordick@thurston.ca
    306.290.6528 - Cell
    306.934.8878 - Office

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