Biomass Feasibility Study Underway

Friday, March 15, 2013

UVic has signed a memorandum of understanding with Dalkia Canada Inc. to conduct a study to determine the feasibility of establishing a biomass thermal energy plant.

The feasibility study will evaluate the benefits of implementing biomass technology at the University of Victoria.  It will assess how energy is used now and in the future, and determine if biomass is a valid alternative.

UVic currently heats the majority of its buildings with high temperature hot water generated by boilers fueled by natural gas.  These boilers account for over 70% of UVic’s greenhouse gas emissions.  A biomass plant fueled by wood waste may allow the university to significantly exceed its emission reduction targets, eliminate the need to pay in excess of $700,000 per year in carbon offsets and tax, and reduce what we pay for energy and operational expenses.

Our terms of reference also includes looking at ways that teaching and research opportunities can be integrated into the proposed facility.

The consultants and the steering committee will investigate a variety of alternative technical solutions and bring forward a solution that is right for UVic.

The Dalkia consulting team also includes, FBB Energy Inc., Farallon Consultants Ltd., Dialog, and Avalon Mechanical Consultants Ltd.

Over the next eight to nine months, we will share information and consult with our internal and external community.  UVic will use the “involve” consultation approach for this study as described in UVic’s Community Engagement Framework for Campus Land Use Planning and Development Projects.

UVic Engagement Framework, 20 Dec 2013.

Over the course of the study, a preferred technical approach including a long-term secure fuel supply will be analyzed, optional locations for the plant will be considered, and a long-term energy supply agreement will be considered.

If you have any questions or would like further information, please contact Facilities Management at