October 28, 2013
Village invests in bioenergy plant
VILLAGE OF TELKWA
The Village of Telkwa's new bioenergy heating system is due to come on stream this fall.
The move to a sustainable green energy source represents a significant achievement for the village of about 1,400 people in west central British Columbia.
When fully operational, the wood-fired bioenergy system will deliver heat to the municipal building, an elementary school, five private residences and the Telkwa Neighborhood Pub, said Alfred Reutelsterz, Telkwa’s director of public works and engineering as well as the project manager for the bioenergy initiative.
Small communities with the double whammy of ageing infrastructure and a limited tax base face continual pressure to upgrade public buildings and services.
Telkwa’s salvation came in the form of $680,000 in cash from the federal government’s Gas Tax Fund.
“We received about $400,000 from the gas fund for the bioenergy system and used most of the other funds to renovate the village office including re-insulating the roof and windows,” explained Reutelsterz.
“The village acted as its own contractor and about 90 per cent of the work was done locally.”
The village office is basically a 1970s structure with additions through the years to suit its various functions including as a milk plant and a meat co-op, he added.
Reutelsterz anticipates the building upgrade will create more than 4,000 square feet of usable retail space available for rental and could provide a potential cash flow source for the village.
A key ingredient in the bioenergy heating system is the 300 kw chip boiler housed in municipal office space.
It was acquired from B.C.’s Lower Mainland and will be used to heat water, the system’s medium of heat exchange.
“No glycol will be added,” said Reutelsterz.
The hot water will be delivered through foam insulated eight inch diameter pipes to the participant buildings.
“Each one of them will be fitted with an energy meter and heat exchanger and they will pay only for the heat delivered. Essentially the village will be an energy contractor.”
The furthest distance the heat has to travel in the system is to the elementary school, about 200 yards from the village office.
Fuel for the heating system will come primarily from trees killed by the mountain pine beetle epidemic that has devastated forests through much of the B.C. interior.
The material is readily available in the Telkwa region.
A 142 hp portable chipper will handle small dry solid wood stems.
Larger diameter trees, which remain sound enough for lumber production will be sold to area sawmills and the money from those sales ploughed back into the system, continued Reutelsterz.
The log harvesting and hauling is all done by Telkwa area contractors, which keeps more money circulating within the local economy.
Reutelsterz estimated that the fuel storage system, for the heating system, is available at various locations in Telkwa for up to 120 days.
A peripheral, but significant, benefit of using the dry beetle kill wood for the bioenergy plant is that it helps protect Telkwa’s residents and businesses from the threat of wildfires in the surrounding forests.
VILLAGE OF TELKWA
|MOST POPULAR STORIES|
|TODAY’S TOP CONSTRUCTION PROJECTS|
These projects have been selected from 340 projects with a total value of $17,600,387,682 that Reed Construction Data Building Reports reported on Tuesday.
$12,000,000,000 Hardisty AB Prebid
$3,200,000,000 Province of Alberta AB Prebid
$120,000,000 Tsawwassen BC Negotiated
- Vandals cause nearly $250,000 in water damage
- Construction cut back in latest B.C. budget update
- Alberta and Manitoba led the pack for labour productivity
- Feds infrastructure commitment re-affirmed
- Infrastructure impacted by climate change
- West End Residential rises
- Changing procurement impacts felt
- Aurora LNG files export bid
- New Brunswick premier touts pipeline jobs
- Concrete awards recognize Ontario’s best
- New changes will strengthen the culture
- Highway projects completed for 2013
- Lack of established areas driving up home prices
- Auto association pushes for dedicated funding
- New airport construction breaks ground
- U.S. manufacturing sector rising at a quick pace
- Oil projects help to lower deficit