Monday, March 9, 2009

BC Hydro solicits bids for biomass energy projects

BLUEFUELENERGY.COM: On March 5th, BC Hydro, the British Columbia Crown corporation responsible for the generation and distribution of electricity in Canada's westernmost province, issued a press release to mark the launch of phase two of its Bioenergy Call for Power.

BC Hydro is conducting what they are describing as a two-stream call process. The first stream is a competitive call for larger-scale biomass energy-generation projects. Any form of biomass will be eligible and it will include wood waste sourced from new forest tenure enabled through provincial legislation in May 2008. The target is to acquire 1,000 GW/h per year of energy through this stream.

Phase II will encourage opportunities for clean, carbon-neutral energy from biomass fuel sources, including underutilized forest-based biomass (e.g. trees and wood chips) and those using other forms of biomass derived from renewable organic matter, such as crops, aquatic plants, manure, or clean, organically sourced material separated from municipal solid waste. The biomass source used as fuel must comply with the Province’s Clean or Renewable Electricity Definitions.

"The Bioenergy Call is part of an effort to transform the future of forestry in B.C. while moving us another step forward on the road to achieving electricity self-sufficiency by 2016," said Blair Lekstrom, Minister of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources. "The call creates opportunities for new jobs, new revenue streams and new electricity generation in communities around the province, while creating new uses for wood and agricultural waste products."

Although the implications for DME/Blue Fuel in this biomass electricity generation project are not immediately clear, since biomass is currently one of the major feedstock categories for DME production in places like Sweden, the jump from using biomass for electricity production to using it for DME is not a giant leap. BC Hydro says that forest-industry wood waste will be one of the sources of fuel burned to create heat for steam-driven turbines - so why couldn't this same biomass be used to drive DME-driven turbines?

Forests and Range Minister Pat Bell says that "Bioenergy is a real opportunity to convert underutilized forest biomass to clean, carbon-neutral electricity." From a DME/Blue Fuel perspective, the key phrase here is "carbon neutral."

Minister Bell also said that "If you have ideas on clean-energy production and it's broader than just wood waste, we are willing to look at them." Could this mean DME/Blue Fuel? There's absolutely no reason it couldn't.

Minister Lekstrom stated that the projects most likely to come to fruition are those that involve smaller, remote communities that are located off the Hydro grid at present - ideal candidates for DME/Blue Fuel.

BC Hydro is Canada's third-largest electric utility and and serves customers in an area containing over 94% of BC's population.

No comments:

Post a Comment