Whitesand First Nation is located in a remote community of Northern Ontario, Canada. In the region, there are abundant quantities of biomass in the form of wood waste and unmerchantable timber left behind from forestry operations. Electricity has historically been supplied to the community by diesel generators, which require significant quantities of diesel fuel to be transported over long distances. Recognizing the opportunity presented by otherwise undesirable biomass, and with a desire to shift towards cleaner electricity production and to stimulate economic development in the area, Neegan Burnside Ltd. was retained by Whitesand First Nation to facilitate the development of their Biomass Cogeneration and Pellet Mill Project.
Neegan Burnside conducted comprehensive investigations with a multi-disciplinary team at the chosen study area to evaluate the technical feasibility and environmental impact of the project. As part of the investigations, Neegan Burnside determined sustainable groundwater supply rates, designed an on-site wastewater management facility, characterized the environmental features and habitats in the study area, consulted with the public to solicit feedback, and recommended mitigation measures to avoid or minimize potential negative environmental impacts. Neegan Burnside also prepared the necessary reports and documentation in support of applications for Renewable Energy Approval and Environmental Compliance Approval administered by the Ontario Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change.
The cogeneration plant will be capable of producing up to 3.6 MW of electricity for use by the community and the project’s ancillary equipment, and will be the first biomass facility proposed for Renewable Energy Approval in Ontario, Canada. The cogeneration plant will also produce heat and process steam for use by the various equipment associated with the project, including a pellet plant, which will create wood pellets for residential and industrial use. When installed, the cogeneration plant will provide the community with 100% of its electricity, replacing the need for diesel fuel with renewable biomass.
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