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Biomass-fired "EnergyBlock" empowers First Nations community

Located in Fort Ware, British Colombia (BC), the Kwadacha First Nations community is not connected to the Candanian national power grid. Until recently, electricity was produced exclusively by diesel generators using diesel that had to be brought in. With three new EnergyBlocks from Germany-headed biomass plant manufacturer Spanner Re² GmbH, electricity and heat production now occurs in a climate-friendly way. The new energy source is wood, derived from local forest management.

Three new biomass-fired EnergyBlocks from Spanner Re² provide heat and power for the Canadian off-grid Kwadacha First Nations community that is located in Fort Ware, British Colombia (photo courtesy Spanner Re²).

The compact, space-saving containerised EnergyBlock from Spanner Re² provides flexibility and autonomy. Three biomass combined heat and power (CHP) units, each with a performance of 45 kWe and 108 kWth are plugged into the complete turn-key solution. Each EnergyBlock can be operated both “On-“ and “Off-Grid”, providing independently generated energy from an existing grid.

Fort Ware, in British Columbia, is one of the challenging locations and remote aboriginal-settlements in Canada. There are very extreme weather conditions with a snow depth of up to three meters and temperatures of -40 degrees Celsius. Of course, this was a hardness test for the Spanner Re² team and for our construction. After the first winter and a plant availability of over 80 percent it showed that our patented technology and our team can also handle challenges like this, said Bernhard Seiler, Project Manager, Spanner Re².

The units are fuelled exclusively with deadwood from the local area. The electricity and heat produced by burning the deadwood supply many households, the local school, a community- and guesthouse as well as four greenhouses. The produce from the greenhouses eliminates the need for the 400 km journey that locals take to the distant city of Prince George for groceries.

Previously over 150 000 litres of diesel had to be transported over a 1 000 km distance to fuel the community. It took 10 days, at temperatures of -30 to -40 degrees and was a huge undertaking. With our EnergyBlock the community can use their natural resources and also strengthen their economy. This project is exemplary and we are pleased with our achievement of a new milestone in the direction of the future of energy with our proven Biomass technology, said Thomas Bleul, Director, Spanner Re².

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