As more communities become aware of the benefits of using biomass to heat and power their buildings, more district energy systems are coming online in Canada. Northern, remote areas in particular have recognized the opportunity to use bioenergy to reduce their reliance on fossil fuels and lower their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.
J&R Mechanical, a plumbing and heating contractor in Yellowknife, N.W.T., is one of the companies leading the charge. Last year, they began operating a new $1.1-million district energy system, called the Woolgar District Heating System, to provide heat to a government of N.W.T. (GNWT) warehouse and three other private businesses, helping to reduce the government’s reliance on fossil fuels.
This is not the first time that J&R Mechanical has installed a district energy system. According to owner Ken Miller, the company, which was founded in 1977, has been installing biomass boilers for over 12 years. When these types of boilers started becoming popular in the N.W.T., the territorial government embraced the potential environmental benefits of using wood pellets instead of fossil fuels.