Alberta commission okays small biomass-fired power project

The Alberta Utilities Commission on Jan. 21 approved a small biomass-fired power project of Vanderwell Contractors (1971) Ltd.

Vanderwell had filed an application with the commission requesting approval to construct and operate a 3.6-MW biomass power plant associated with a thermal energy system at the Vanderwell sawmill plant site located in the Mitsue industrial park near Slave Lake, Alberta. Vanderwell also requested approval to connect the power plant to ATCO Electric Ltd.’s 25-kV distribution system. No objections were received to the application.

The biomass thermal power plant would consist of a 3.6-MW synchronous generator and one five-megavolt-ampere (MVA) 6.6/25-kV step-up transformer to be housed in a separate building. The power plant would utilize wood waste and bark which are currently being incinerated in a beehive burner. The beehive burner would be replaced as part of the new energy system. Vanderwell indicated that the power plant is intended to supply power to the Vanderwell industrial site and to export surplus power to the Alberta Interconnected Electric System via ATCO Electric’s 25-kV distribution system.

Said the Jan. 21 commission approval: “The Commission is satisfied that the proposed power plant will have minimal environmental impact. The Commission understands that the air emissions from the project are expected to be compliant with the Alberta Ambient Air Quality Objectives.”

About Barry Cassell 20414 Articles
Barry Cassell is Chief Analyst for GenerationHub covering coal and emission controls issues, projects and policy. He has covered the coal and power generation industry for more than 24 years, beginning in November 2011 at GenerationHub and prior to that as editor of SNL Energy’s Coal Report. He was formerly with Coal Outlook for 15 years as the publication’s editor and contributing writer, and prior to that he was editor of Coal & Synfuels Technology and associate editor of The Energy Report. He has a bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University.