Saanich Commonwealth Place’s biomass conversion

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Saanich, Vancouver Island, Canada, has said is taking another major step toward reducing its operational greenhouse gas emissions.

The district will begin construction this autumn to upgrade natural-gas-fuelled boilers at Saanich Commonwealth Place to biomass-fed units, with the goal of reducing the facility’s GHG emissions by 90 percent.

This largest recreation facility in the municipality is also the largest creator of emissions among district facilities. The conversion to renewable fuel from fossil fuel is an important and positive step in the district’s journey to reduce its corporate carbon footprint and meet its goal of becoming a 100 percent renewable community, said mayor Fred Haynes.

“The new heating system will use a locally sourced renewable biomass fuel which will reduce costs, increase efficiency and support our local economy and climate goals,” he said in a release.

The new system is slated to be up and running by autumn 2023. The district states that the project is “fully supported” by $4 million in federal gas tax funding awarded to Saanich in 2018.

Preparations for the project are due to begin this summer, with construction scheduled to start in September. The facility will be closed to the public between September 5 and October 10 due to interruptions to basic utilities including electrical power and water during construction. 

Alternative temporary spaces are being sought for the centre’s most popular programs during this time, which is an extension of the annual maintenance shutdown.



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