A new biomass plant on Burnaby Mountain has reduced greenhouse gas emissions from buildings by 80 per cent at SFU’s Burnaby campus and by a similar amount at buildings at the neighbouring UniverCity.
The $33-million district energy system uses wood chips as a low carbon energy source to provide heat and hot water to most of the campus and to roughly half of the UniverCity residential neighbourhood.
“SFU Burnaby’s greenhouse gas emissions from heating are expected to drop by 80 per cent, the equivalent of emissions from 900 homes every year,” said Larry Waddell, chief facilities officer at SFU in a statement. “This facility will also allow SFU to achieve 97 per cent of the province’s 2050 greenhouse gas target.”
District energy systems use a highly efficient central energy plant to provide heating, cooling, and hot water to a group of nearby buildings. The centralized energy production means buildings no longer need to maintain their own heating systems, reducing costs and lowering greenhouse has emissions.
The Burnaby plant generates heat from wood waste collected from local mills and construction and urban sources like tree trimmings that would otherwise go to the landfill.