Ryan McNutt, Dal News
Dal’s Agricultural Campus has its sights set on being completely carbon neutral — a goal highlighted at the opening of the new Biomass Energy Plant, which celebrated its grand opening Tuesday morning (Nov. 20).
The renewed plant and district energy system, a $26.5-million project that began operation this summer, burns biomass fuel in a thermal oil heater. This heat moves a new 1 MW turbine to create electricity — an organic rankine cycle (ORC) system that’s the first of its kind on a North American university campus. It’s technology that places Dal on the leading edge of sustainable technology and renewable energy practices.
“We have taken a 30-year-old traditional heating plant and renewed it to be a cutting-edge biomass system that meets our campus heating needs and creates electricity that we then sell back to Nova Scotia Power,” explained David Gray, Faculty of Agriculture dean and campus principal, at Tuesday’s event.