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Simon Fraser University Going Green

Posted Nov 9th, 2017

Simon Fraser University Going Green TERESA MADALENO 

Simon Fraser University is about to go Green in a big way.

Located in British Columbia, SFU will soon be diverting wood waste from a landfill to help reduce the University’s greenhouse gas emissions. It’s all part of collaboration between the SFU Community Trust and Corix Multi-Utility Services. The multi-million dollar biomass project will be known as the Burnaby Mountain District Utility.

Approved by the British Columbia Utilities Commission (BCUC), it means that a high-efficiency heating plant using wood waste will be the main fuel source. It will not only serve SFU, but also UniverCity residents with greener energy beginning in 2019. SFU’s chief facilities officer, Larry Waddell has stated that he expects the biomass heating plant to put SFU in a position to “surpass the provincial mandated greenhouse gas reduction target for 2020.”

University officials also contend that this initiative puts them in a perfect position to develop the Burnaby Mountain District Utility into a place for education and outreach.

While Simon Fraser may stand out among many Canadian Universities when it comes to how far they are willing to go in order to become more energy efficient, turning to biomass as a way to lower greenhouse gases is not a new concept to universities. Last year, the Sierra Club ranked Colby College in Maine as one of the greenest College’s in the United States. Colby uses energy from a Gold LEED certified heating plant that uses 22,000 tons of wood chips to offset one million gallons of oil every year. Green Mountain College in Vermont started working on plans for a biomass facility back in 2005. Today a biomass system heats over 85 percent of the college. There are many other universities and colleges that use various forms of green energy to power their buildings and help promote a greener existence.

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