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Why we recommend Biomass Heating Systems

There are at least three companies that I know of based in Manitoba that
produce bio-mass heating systems or bio-mass combined
heat-and-(electrical)-power production systems.  A number of additional
companies have systems in development in Manitoba as well (I think there are
5 more at last count).

We also have great support for this sector from the University of Manitoba
in their engineering department. 

I believe there is a huge opportunity to start to establish community
district heating systems, commercial/industrial heating systems (say for an
auto body paint shop, feed mills, or other heat intensive operations), and
community-scale combined heat and power systems in Manitoba.  One big
benefit of a combined heat-and-power system is that it can serve as source
of electricity for a community's critical care (say hospitals and seniors
homes) and evacuation centres (schools and community centres) during a state
of emergency like the Ontario/Quebec ice storm. 

In Manitoba, we are woefully under-prepared to live one or two weeks without
access to electricity and, as we are currently set up, we could be looking
at mass evacuations of young people and seniors for rural communities if
this situation emerged.....and it can emerge.  If a natural or man-made
disaster cut our access to northern dams and export-import power
transmission lines, we could experience a period of weeks without power in
large areas of rural Manitoba.

I lived in Ottawa during the ice storm that knocked out power to eastern
Ontario and western Quebec.  It was one of the scariest experiences in my
life..Both Ottawa and Montreal dodged a huge evacuation need by one day
(i.e. if one more day of ice had arrived, all infrastructure would have
destroyed and it would take weeks to bring the communities back online).

If a rural community heated its civic and institutional facilities using
bio-mass and installed a combined heat-and-power system, they could produce
revenues from the system during summer months and displace purchases of
hydroelectricity during winter months.  In the event of a disaster, they
would also be positioned to keep the heat and lights on in facilities that
house vulnerable people like senior care homes as well as civic facilities
that could serve as evacuation centres.

Les Routledge
tel (204) 721-0439
Prairie Practitioners Group

Contact Information

Box 575
St Adolphe, Manitoba
Canada R5A 1A2
Toll Free 866-943-0739
Phone: 204-883-BEST(2378)
Fax: 204-883-2869



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