KWADACHA BIOMASS COMMUNITY ENERGY SYSTEM
Woody biomass energy for remote communities
BCBN conducted a review of the current state of off-grid power production in the province of BC, and determined there were over 60 remote communities predominantly powered and heated by a combination of diesel, propane and firewood.
Through the BC First Nations Energy and Mining Council and the BC First Nations Forestry Council, BCBN and other stakeholders were introduced to the Kwadacha First Nation community in Fort Ware, BC. In 2011, the 300 residents of Fort Ware required 953,000 litres of diesel for power and electrical baseboard heating and 170,000 litres of propane for heating central buildings such as the school and store.
BCBN acted as owner representative in identifying a suitable small scale biomass combined heat and power system. BCBN supported the front-end engineering design and the system was installed in 2016. The system consumes locally-sourced biomass and displaces diesel and propane consumption throughout the community. This project created jobs in forestry, power generation, and administration.
The cost of providing diesel based power to this remote community was determined to be at least 67 cents per kWh. A properly designed biomass system holds the potential to reduce this cost in half, resulting in savings to the community, rate payers and taxpayers.