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BC Hydro purchases clean power from green energy project

The Nelson Daily staff

Cancel one contract, pick up another.

With BC Hydro canceling the Glacier/Howser contract with AXOR on Friday, they announced they were purchasing clean electricity from the Zellstoff Celgar's green energy project.

The BC Hydro power grid will receive an infusion from the new 48-megawatt condensing turbine as a result of a series of upgrades that allow the pulp mill to direct more steam to energy production.

Once the turbine is fully optimized, the pulp mill will produce enough surplus electricity to power the equivalent of 20,000 homes in BC.

The mill's cogeneration facility will produce 238 gigawatt hours of electricity annually for sale to BC Hydro under the terms of a 10-year electricity purchase agreement that was completed as part of BC Hydro's Phase 1 Bioenergy Call.

The new clean energy generating capacity at the mill was made possible through a series of upgrades funded by $40 million from Natural Resources Canada’s Pulp and Paper Green Transformation Program, and $17 million from Mercer International, Zellstoff Celgar's parent company.

The investments at the mill include upgrading the wood waste boiler and installing a new condensing turbine and other steam-saving equipment to allow the mill to generate energy surplus to its own needs that it can sell to BC Hydro.

The mill generates the steam it uses for its operations by burning wood waste and black liquor, a byproduct of the pulp-making process.

Bioenergy is energy that can be generated using wood waste, forest-based biomass and organic material in regions all across the province, helping to diversify rural economies.

In addition to the electricity purchase agreement with Zellstoff Celgar, BC Hydro has agreements with Canfor Pulp Ltd. Partnership in Prince George; PG Interior to Waste to Energy Ltd. in Prince George; and Domtar Pulp and Paper Product Inc. in Kamloops.