Ontario company to co-locate biomass power, pellets

By Lisa Gibson | October 24, 2011

Huntsville, Ontario, could be the site for a co-located, 10-megawatt (MW) biomass power plant and 8-metric-ton-per-hour wood pellet plant, if the proper equity partner can be found to move on with development.

BalanceCO2 Ltd. has proposed the $50 million project, intending to use sawmill and forest residues. Whole trees will be used for pellet production and limbs, bark and tops for power generation through gasification, according to Selva Kumar, BalanceCO2 partner. Heat produced at the power plant will be used in the pellet mill and excess power will be sold to the grid, he added.

“We believe that this biomass-to-energy project is exactly the type of renewable energy project that Ontario had in mind when they conceived the Feed-In Tariff Program to reduce the reliance on fossil fuels,” he said.

The project will require about 226,000 metric tons of woody biomass per year, 47 percent used for pellet manufacturing and the remaining 120,000 metric tons for generating power. “We have conducted a preliminary biomass feedstock assessment, which clearly indicates that ample feedstock is available within a 100-kilometer radius of the proposed project site,” Kumar said.

Pellet customers have not yet been identified, he said, but BalanceCO2 will conduct feasibility studies evaluating pellet markets in Canada and internationally.

“Currently we are in the development phase of the project,” Kumar said. “We have identified a suitable site and have signed a memorandum of understanding with the landowner. The site is approximately 100 acres and adjacent to grid lines. We have had meetings with Hydro One to review the site's suitability to accept the addition of 10 MW of power to the grid.  The initial feedback was positive; the next step is to apply for the FIT contract.”

A timeline for completion and operation has not yet been developed, given that financing is not yet in place and the FIT contract involves a lengthy review process, but Kumar said the company hopes the plants will be operational by the end of 2013.


4 Responses

  1. Josephine



    Great! Waste to energy is becoming the new wave of energy. In West Africa, waste management is a growing problem; therefore this type of technique, turning waste to energy will help farmers, and help grow the economy. Usually, farm land is burned to prepare land for farming; which contributes to pollution. In Africa, if waste is used for energy and fertilizer, there will be no need to burn grass before farming. I am working on waste management project and biofuel development in Liberia. We are in the early stage and are presently looking for funding to begin nurseries. Hopefully, we will get one soon.

  2. Glen Tobiason



    Now what about adding a MBT based on the MYT or Maximum Yield Technology to take care of Ontarios MSW? It is a great and economical way to retrieve the maximum amount of energy out of MSW and make it available in the form of biogas as well as high quality RDF. Please let us know if you need more info. ZAK Zweckverband Abfallbehandlung Kahlenberg Glen Tobiason Quality and Environmental Management

  3. s. venkatesam (Sam)



    Really a good idea. Wherever surplus biomass in any form (agri. waste, saw mill waste or any other source) is available Power should be produced using the same. This will go a long way in power and ecological needs. We at EPPI (Energy Plantation Projects India Limited .... website: went about in another direction to achieve the dual aims of ecological and power advantages. Though it took about 8 years of R&D and no funding whatsoever, a group of about 100 professionals from across the world learnt how to grow a man-made high density renewable forest and proved it in a few hundred acres. We can now grow forests in 3 to 4 years (for the first harvest) and 2 to 3 years (subsequent harvests) for the biomass and the power produced using one's own Energy Plantations is cheaper by half compared to other methods of power through Biomass. If all goes well, we will be funded by a Venture Capitalist within a couple of months for setting up a few 2 MW Power Stations using biomass from home grown forests. .... Sam, Chairman, EPPI

  4. Bala



    Wow! This sounds great. In India we may not get so many trees/plantations however farm waste such as Cotton Plants and other non-fodder 'left over' can be explored for bio-mass power generation! There are certain belts in Maharashtra, Gujarat, Karnataka and other states, where lots of cotton is grown. Wishing you all the best! Cheers Bala


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