UBC’s clean energy facility wins KPMG award

Diarmaid Williams reports in Cogeneration & On-Site Power Production that the University of British Columbia’s (UBC) Bioenergy Research and Demonstration Facility in Canada—served by biofueled cogeneration technology—has been named one of the world’s top 100 most innovative and inspiring infrastructure projects by KPMG. UBC is a member of IDEA.

Nexterra advanced biomass heat and power system

Nexterra advanced biomass heat and power system; GE Jenbacher at the right consumes the syngas and is the prime mover of the UBC system.

The UBC facility is one of six Canadian projects that were picked recently as some of the 100 “most innovative and inspiring urban infrastructure projects in the world” in KPMG’s Infrastructure 100: World Cities Edition.

The UBC clean energy project is North America’s first commercial-scale biomass-fueled, cogeneration (heat and power) system that, it is hoped, can operate successfully on a small scale that is suitable for communities the size of UBC. The project is a collaboration of UBC; Nexterra Systems Corp., a Vancouver company that provides energy from renewable waste systems; GE Jenbacher, General Electric’s gas engine division; and FPInnovations, a Canadian forest research organization.

The facility has two operating modes. The commercial mode will use Nexterra gasification technology to convert waste wood into a clean synthesized gas (syngas) that can be used for campus heating. The second, a demonstration heat-and-power mode will use Nexterra syngas conditioning technology and a GE Jenbacher gas engine to convert syngas into electrical power (see diagram).

The $29m project had two general contractors: Ledcor Construction Limited, for the base building, and Nexterra for the gasification technology.

The UBC’s Bioenergy Research & Demonstration Facility is a partnership between UBC and two of the world’s leading developers of green technology—Vancouver-based Nexterra Systems Corporation and GE Energy.

About IDEA Industry News

EDITOR: Leonard Phillips, IDEA Director of Business Development, International District Energy Association (IDEA), a nonprofit association founded in 1909. len.idea@districtenergy.org; +1 508-366-9339.
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