University of Montana Board of Regents Approves Nexterra Biomass Gasification System for Campus Heat and Power
“This is our fourth university project and it represents a significant milestone as we expand into the higher educational market across North America,” says Jonathan Rhone, Nexterra President and CEO. “Biomass gasification is ideally suited to universities and colleges as a clean, cost effective way of lowering fuel costs and greenhouse gas emissions by converting central heating plants from fossil fuels to renewable fuels. We’re confident the students, faculty, along with the greater community of Missoula will be pleased with the results.”
The Nexterra system will convert locally sourced wood residues into 34,000 lbs/hr of clean renewable steam, which will displace 70% of UM’s natural gas consumption. The University expects the project to generate upwards of $1 million in annual energy savings. By utilizing a locally sourced biomass fuel, the University will reduce its dependence on fossil fuels and create local jobs for fuel providers.
The project will be delivered in conjunction with McKinstry Essention Ltd., a Seattle-based energy services contracting company. Nexterra will supply the gasification system. McKinstry will install the system and provide the balance of plant.
“We chose Nexterra because they represent the state-of-the-art for converting biomass into clean energy that combines great technology with an unparalleled engineering team. Their commercially proven systems are significantly more advanced than conventional wood-fired boilers providing lower emissions, high reliability and ease of operation. We look forward to working with Nexterra and McKinstry to build a project the University and the Missoula community will be proud of for many years,” says Bob Duringer, Vice President Administration and Finance at the University of Montana.
The University of Montana is one of 677 active members of the American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment (ACUPCC), which commits participating schools to develop and implement comprehensive plans to eliminate greenhouse gas emissions from campus operations. The University of Montana’s Climate Action Plan determined that burning natural gas to heat the campus represents the University’s largest single source of greenhouse gas emissions (GHG).
The new biomass energy system will allow the University to make the single largest reduction in its carbon footprint, cutting GHG emissions by approximately 10,000 tonnes and reducing the campus’ carbon emissions by 22 percent. The overall effect will be the equivalent of annually removing 2,500 cars from Montana’s roads. This will help the University move towards its goal of becoming carbon neutral by 2020.
In addition to reducing the Missoula campus’ carbon footprint, the University will incorporate Nexterra’s gasification system into the curriculum for the College of Technology’s energy technician and forestry programs.
About Nexterra Systems Corp. – Nexterra Systems is a leading supplier of biomass gasification solutions that generate renewable heat, power and syngas for institutional and industrial customers. Working to the highest standards with world leading partners, such as General Electric, Nexterra has successfully supplied commercial gasification systems for projects at the US Department of Energy, University of South Carolina, Dockside Green, Kruger Products, the University of Northern BC and Tolko Industries. www.nexterra.ca
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