A new biomass heating unit at Providence University College that burns waste straw and other biomass byproducts from local suppliers to reduce greenhouse gases is now operational, Local Government Minister Ron Lemieux announced here today.
“Every step we take to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions is a step in the right direction and this will make a significant difference at Providence University College,” said Lemieux. “This new heating unit will not only save money but will improve the health of the environment by removing approximately 180 tonnes of greenhouse gases a year, the equivalent of taking 33 cars off the road annually.”
The province invested $84,000 through the Community Led Emissions Reduction (CLER) Initiative’s competitive fund for the installation of a new biomass heating unit for buildings on the Providence University College campus. The unit replaces natural gas heating and is expected to generate cost savings of up to $50,000 per year.
The minister noted Providence, the federal government and the Rural Municipality of De Salaberry also supported the project.
“This biomass heating system is an excellent example of governments, businesses and community institutions like Providence working together to become better stewards of the world,” said Dr. August Konkel, president, Providence University College and Theological Seminary. “Not only will this greatly reduce Providence’s carbon footprint, we’ve designed this system to be a demonstration site to showcase the crucial role rural Manitoba business can play producing non-fossil-fuel energy.”
CLER is a pilot initiative aimed at supporting projects and providing incentives to encourage locally driven efforts to achieve reductions in Manitoba’s greenhouse-gas emissions and build toward sustainable, long-term changes.
“Investments we make in these kinds of projects help communities diversify and become more energy efficient. This project is a good first step to supporting this kind of change in rural Manitoba,” said Lemieux. “I commend our partners for their hard work to see this project come to fruition.”
Eighteen rural and urban centres including six neighbourhood organizations were selected for funding under the $2.8-million, four-year CLER program (2008-12).