A forestry seedling greenhouse started the University of Northern British Columbia (UNBC) on the road to using renewable energy. Now the Prince George university is the first in Canada with its own wood-fuelled district heating system and has been branded as “Canada’s Green University.”
This system, designed by Vancouver-based clean tech company Nexterra, uses wood pellets made from wood waste such as sawmill shavings from Prince George’s local forestry industry to create bioenergy. This energy is then used to
heat water, which is circulated to the existing hot water district heating system that heats the UNBC campus.
This has reduced fossil fuel consumption at UNBC by 72 per cent, avoiding 3,700 tonnes of carbon emissions every year. This has shown both the City of Prince George, as well as visiting students and faculty, what is possible when you use wood waste as a fuel.