Nexterra Systems Corp. (Nexterra), a supplier of biomass gasification systems, announced today that it has signed a multi-million dollar agreement with the University of British Columbia (UBC) to supply and install a biomass combined heat and power (CHP) system at UBC’s Vancouver campus. This is the first installation of its kind in North America and follows three years of collaboration between Nexterra and GE’s Jenbacher gas engine division.
The new CHP system will convert urban wood waste into clean burning, combustible synthetic gas or “syngas” using Nexterra’s proprietary gasification and syngas conditioning technologies. The syngas will be directly fired into a GE internal combustion engine to produce 2 MW of electricity. Waste heat will be recovered from the engine to produce 9,000 lbs/hour of low pressure steam. Emissions from the system will be well below local air emissions limits and the system will have a conversion efficiency of more than 65%.
The electricity generated by the new system will be distributed throughout the campus to meet a portion of UBC’s electricity demand. The steam produced will offset about 15% of the natural gas currently used by UBC for district heating. UBC’s greenhouse gas emissions will be lowered by 4,000 tonnes per year. Wood fuel used to run the plant will be supplied by the City of Vancouver and other local companies from tree trimmings and other urban wood waste diverted from the landfill. The project, previously announced in February, is scheduled for commissioning in Q4 2011.
“We are delighted to finalize this agreement and move into the implementation phase of this project,” said Pierre Ouillet, UBC’s Vice President of Finance, Resources and Operations. “We have developed a terrific partnership with Nexterra. Their technology is a great fit with our clean energy and climate action goals and we are very grateful for the tremendous support we have received from all project partners including the Province of BC, the federal government, City of Vancouver, FPInnovations, BC Bioenergy Network and Sustainable Development Technology Canada.”
“We are very pleased to see the commercialization of a new generation of biomass power systems happening in British Columbia,” said Harvie Campbell, Chair of the Clean Power Association of BC and Executive VP of Pristine Power. “With a 50% increase in fuel efficiency compared to conventional biomass power plants that use steam turbine technology, the Nexterra CHP system has the potential to become the new industry standard for biomass heat and power and has replication potential across BC, North America and in export markets.”
“We are thrilled to have such a dynamic and committed partner as UBC,” said Jonathan Rhone, CEO of Nexterra. “This is a big milestone for Nexterra and the agreement clearly signals UBC’s intention to become a leading centre for commercialization of clean energy technologies through a new model of partnership with the private sector. We also very much appreciate the outstanding support we’ve had from all the partners who’ve help get this project to the finish line.”