BC Bioenergy Network

Partnering for a Greener Future

District Energy Systems

The facilities featured on this page use biomass as a fuel to produce steam or hot water at a central plant.  This steam or hot water is then pumped underground for space heating and to provide domestic hot water to a number of buildings in a local cluster.


Burns Lake Biomass Heating System 

The Village of Burns Lake is using a pellet boiler, in conjunction with salvaging surplus heat from a number of Village facilities, to provide heat for the “Community Heating Network”.

Centre of Excellence for Clean Energy Technology, Northern Lights College, Dawson Creek

Housed in the new Centre of Excellence for Clean Energy Technology the wood pellet boiler system will be used as a training facility for renewable energy technologists.

Enderby District Energy

Fink Enderby District Energy is the first privately-funded biomass district energy system operating as a Private Utility under 1 MW in western Canada. The district system currently serves 11 commercial, institutional and residential customers while maintaining capacity for future growth.

Lillooet Community Biomass Energy Project

The Community Biomass Energy Project replaces an inefficient and oversized propane boiler with an efficient pellet biomass furnace.

Nazko Elementary School

A 60,000 square foot school and community centre, in a village 100 kilometres west of Quesnel, was converted from using propane to wood pellets as a fuel for heat in 2008.

Old Massett, Haida Gwaii, Main Community Buildings

The village of Old Massett is employing  a high tech wood biomass boiler by way of a centralized heating system for their main community buildings. These buildings are comprised of a community hall, the band office, a health center, the social development and child family services building and an elementary school.

Prince George Downtown District Energy System 

The biomass-based Prince George District Energy System (DES) provides heating for several landmark buildings in downtown Prince George while reducing 1,900 tonnes of greenhouse gases per year. The state-of-the-art district energy system takes what was previously considered waste heat from Lakeland sawmill and transfers it via insulated piping to heat the downtown core of the city, a move that makes sense financially, environmentally, and socially.

Revelstoke Community Energy Corporation

Revelstoke Community Energy Corporation (RCEC) is an award-winning system that burns wood “waste” from the Downie Timber Sawmill to create steam for the drying kilns at the mill and hot water that is piped to ten City buildings and downtown businesses.

Southeast False Creek Neighbourhood Energy Utility, Vancouver

The Neighbourhood Energy Utility (NEU) uses waste thermal energy captured from sewage to provide space heating and hot water to new buildings in Southeast False Creek (SEFC).  This captured energy eliminates more than 60% of the global warming pollution associated with heating buildings.  The utility is self-funded: it provides a return on investment to City taxpayers, while at the same time, provides cost-competitive rates to customers.  The NEU was established in 2010 and served the former Olympic Village.

Telkwa Mini Biomass District Heating System

The Village of Telkwa took climate action in the building sector by retrofitting an existing derelict building for a new municipal office and installing a biomass boiler district heating system (the system).  The system generates heat energy, through burning wood, which is then transferred into a distributed hot water heating system to heat their municipal office and neighbouring buildings.

Whistler District Energy System 

The District Energy System provides about 95 per cent per cent of the energy needed for space and water heating in Cheakamus Crossing by extracting low-temperature ambient heat from treated wastewater effluent through the Waste Water Treatment Plant.  Heat exchangers in the treatment plant capture the heat from the effluent flow and pump temperate water through an insulated underground distribution system to heat pumps in each building.


In Development

Burnaby Mountain District Energy System

A permanent biomass-based central energy plant is under development for the Simon Fraser University Neighbourhood Utility Service (NUS).

Creative Energy Beatty Street Plant, Vancouver

Creative Energy is in the process of switching a large district heating system in downtown Vancouver from using natural gas as primary fuel over to using biomass.

Howe Sound Secondary and Squamish Elementary Schools, Squamish

School District 48 has had an ongoing project shared by both Howe Sound Secondary and Squamish Elementary to install a biomass burner that will help the schools reduce their natural gas usage and environmental footprint by using waste wood chips or pellets as fuel.

Nelson District Energy System

The City of Nelson is considering the development of a district energy system that would providea low carbon heating alternative to natural gas.

Port Alberni Industrial/Municipal Energy System

The City of Port Alberni has been looking for ways to reduce the community’s greenhouse gas emissions, to capture carbon credits, to create green jobs and to develop non-tax revenue sources. An ‘Integrated Resource Recovery Study’ done in 2010 showed that a fibre based biomass district energy system was feasible and would accomplish those goals.