The Grand Falls Hospital is one of the first public buildings in New Brunswick to utilize a new energy-efficient, pellet-fired heating system.
“This project supports local wood industries and will allow for some significant savings for the hospital in the long term,” said Health Minister Hugh Flemming.
He said building on the potential of biomass and wood-fueled energy solutions was a government commitment, noting the results have been positive for the hospital’s new 850-kilowatt, energy-efficient heating system during the first few months of operation.
The new pellet-fired boiler plant was built by Biomass Solutions Biomasse, a NB company that responded through a public tender process to construct and operate the unit. Under a renewable energy agreement – public-private partnership – with the province, the company will turn the unit over to the hospital after 10 years.
The projected savings are $4 million over a 20-year period for the Grand Falls facility. The plant is projected to reduce annual fuel oil consumption by 300,000 litres while creating an annual locally-produced pellet fuel requirement of 650 tonnes.
Other public buildings are also getting involved in pellet-fired systems including École Marie-Gaétane in Kedgwick. The school boiler was also developed through a renewable energy agreement with Design Built Mechanical Inc. of Charlo for a 15-year term.
By year’s end, two new schools and a new nursing home will use the same technology. Southern Carleton Elementary and Centennial Elementary School, currently under construction in the Woodstock area, and Les Résidences Jodin in Edmundston, will also rely on pellet-fired systems. Annual savings are expected to be in the vicinity of $50,000 per school and $82,000 for the nursing home.