A $2.2 million dollar expansion of the University of Northern British Columbia’s (UNBC) award-winning bioenergy heating system was given a financial boost today when the province, TransCanada and several other groups announced donations to move the project forward. The Government of British Columbia is putting $1.1 million into the project and TransCanada, $400,000.
The funding partnership was announced by Advanced Education minister, Amrik Virk, at UNBC’s 25th anniversary kick-off celebration in Prince George.
“UNBC is seen as an innovative leader in the clean energy field and as a driver of economic development to create jobs and opportunities for British Columbians. Extending the bioenergy system is great for students, future generations of British Columbians, the community and our province.”
– Amrik Virk, B.C. minister of Advanced Education
The government investment will allow UNBC to begin the connection of its student residences, Enhanced Forestry Lab and daycare facility to a new district energy system, effectively reducing the use of fossil fuels for heating. Energy will initially come from the existing bioenergy systems on campus.
“TransCanada is committed to responsible energy development, which includes supporting programs that build strong, vibrant and sustainable communities where we operate across North America,” said Alex Pourbaix, executive vice-president and president, Development. “To that end, we have invested over $5 billion in renewable energy sources and one-third of the power we produce is from emission-less sources including the largest wind development in Canada, along with nuclear, hydro and solar facilities.”
“We are proud to support UNBC’s bioenergy initiatives because, as Canada’s largest private-sector power generator, we recognize the need to move towards a less carbon-intense energy future.”
– Alex Pourbaix, executive vice-president and president, Development, TransCanada
Currently, the Prince George campus derives most of its heat from wood pellets donated by Pacific Bioenergy and sawmill residue provided by Lakeland Mills.
TransCanada is committed to supporting the communities where we live and work. Regional staff working on the Prince Rupert Gas Transmission and Coastal GasLink projects identified the biomass project at UNBC as an important initiative that aligns with TransCanada’s Environmental Strategy and corporate values of integrity, responsibility, collaboration and innovation. Learn more in our 2013 Corporate Social Responsibility Report.