Simon Fraser University (SFU)’s campus in Burnaby, B.C., is now home to a new $33 million biomass plant that is using urban wood waste to provide heating and hot water to the campus and a nearby residential community, UniverCity.
The biomass plant has been operating since October 2020, but the project has been eight-and-a-half-years in the making.
For SFU, the motivation behind switching from natural gas to biomass for heating and hot water was two-fold, explains Larry Waddell, SFU’s chief facilities officer.
“One, SFU had an aging traditional natural gas heating plant that served our campus. So, there was a desire to see what options we might have to replace or extend its life,” he explains. “There was also a desire to try to become more sustainable and respond to the province’s targets for the public sector to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.”