One large boiler will soon be on line to produce 98% of the annual hospital energy needs (including heating and cooling) using biomass as the energy source. The boiler will produce steam for the production of electricity. On normal months it is expected there will be a small net surplus of power that, through net metering, can be returned to the grid. This will result in virtually a self-sustaining facility at a much-reduced cost. This boiler replaces three older boilers. An oil-fired boiler can be used as a backup during a shutdown for maintenance and cleaning.
Innovative funding for this costly project has much to do with this success story. Funding has been arranged through the Chaleur Regional Hospital Foundation. The Foundation is funding the project with the stipulation that a percentage of the energy saving costs (i.e. the difference between the cost of biomass and the oil) are returned to the foundation until the project costs are covered. More specifics of the financial deal are not available until the Memorandum of Agreement is signed. The Hospital continues to benefit as these funds are dedicated “to help finance initiatives proposed by the Chaleur Regional Hospital.” (The Acadie-Bathurst Health Authority web site). For reasons not understood by our contacts other hospitals seem unwilling to try this funding strategy.
Roy Consultants have provided much of the technical advice related to this project.
Biomass used at 58 t (64 tons) wood residue (mostly chips) per day or 18000–27000 t (20000–30000 tons) per year.