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British Columbia-based mountain to get new energy-from-waste plant

Corix Multi-Utility Services, a Canadian provider of sustainable utility infrastructure, has signed an agreement with Simon Fraser University (SFU) to move forward with the construction of a new $39-million facility that would use locally sourced biomass to produce green, thermal energy for the two grids it serves.

The plant will be based in Burnaby Mountain –a low, forested mountain in the city of Burnaby, British Columbia. It will provide energy to Canada-based SFU and another local community called UniverCity.

Until now, Corix has used temporary natural gas boilers to produce the energy. Going forward, waste destined for local landfills – like wood chips from sawmills and tree cuttings and trimmings – would fuel the plant.

We are both excited and proud to be partnering with SFU and the SFU Community Trust on the proposed Central Energy Plant," said Eric van Roon, Corix’s senior VP, Canadian Utilities.

He added: "The new facility is an example of how Corix can provide solutions to address community energy needs while meeting environmental objectives. In this case, we will achieve both through the implementation of a district energy system using renewable energy sources." 

“The proposed Central Energy Plant is another example of SFU Community Trust partnering with SFU and industry leaders to help deliver low carbon sustainable homes and a high level of comfort and convenience at UniverCity," added Dale Mikkelsen, the Trust’s development director.

He added: "The combination of long-term environmental and economic benefits for UniverCity residents will provide benefit to UniverCity residents while significantly reducing greenhouse gas emissions on Burnaby Mountain." 

With the agreement now signed, the next steps for the project will be public consultation, which is expected to begin this autumn. The results of those efforts will feed into the required municipal and provincial regulatory processes. If all approvals are received in 2017, construction could begin early in 2018, which would allow the facility to be operational by early 2019.

"This biomass facility is another example of SFU’s commitment to sustainability, which is a key principle of our strategic vision," said SFU president Andrew Petter. "In recent years, SFU has taken significant action to decrease our carbon footprint, reduce waste, and implement a range of other sustainability measures."

Around 80 short-term jobs will be created during the design and construction phase of the project.