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Canadian biomass project passes initial environmental concerns

A proposal to turn abandoned agricultural land in Annapolis Valley, Nova Scotia into a biomass production site has overcome initial environmentalist concerns.

Energy crop project developer Pro Farm Energy and Minas Basin Pulp and Power want to grow elephant grass on the land and use it to produce electricity via a proposed $50 million (€39.7 million) plant to be constructed by Minas.

Wilderness coordinator at the Canadian Ecology Action Centre Raymond Plourde has been quoted as saying that the idea ‘looks like the kind of creative approach to diversifying our fuel mix that we need’.

Plourde believes Nova Scotia has a lot of vacant, poor-quality farmland that isn’t productive for food growth and, while he needs to understand more about elephant grass and its production, he is pleased that the two companies are looking beyond Nova Scotia’s forests as a source of biomass.

If it goes ahead, Minas claims the plant could produce enough power for around 5,000 homes and help reduce reliance on coal-based generation.