Mr. Speaker, in support of our Government’s NWT Biomass Energy and Greenhouse Gas Strategies, the promotion and use of biomass technologies remains a priority for this government in its efforts to reduce energy costs and decrease greenhouse gas emissions.
With the ability to reduce the fossil fuel usage of a building by 80 to 90 percent, the Department of Public Works and Services’ early adoption of, and continued use of renewable biomass energy technology is something I wish to highlight today.
By March 31st of this year, the Department will have installed 22 biomass systems in seven communities that will be providing heat to 30 separate buildings and facilities throughout the Northwest Territories. These completed biomass installations displaced 1.8 million litres of fossil fuel in 2013-2014 alone and reduced greenhouse gas emissions associated with the operation of our public infrastructure by 4,882 tonnes per year.
New biomass projects scheduled for completion this year include the Deninu School in Fort Resolution, the Airport Terminal Building in Yellowknife and the South Mackenzie Correction Centre in Hay River while the projects planned for 2015-2016 include the Prince of Wales Northern Heritage Centre in Yellowknife, along with the schools in Fort Good Hope and Tulita.
Over the years we have adapted our policies and procedures to better support our continued commitment to this technology. Today all major capital projects are considered for biomass installations as part of our planning process. I am pleased to advise Members that biomass heating systems are being installed for new health centres in the communities of Fort Providence, Fort Resolution, Hay River and Norman Wells.
Mr. Speaker, the GNWT is considered a leader in the deployment of commercial biomass technology for public infrastructure. While biomass heating is one of many programs and approaches used by the Department of Public Works and Services, it plays an important role in supporting our government’s energy efficiency, reducing greenhouse gas emissions and our Government’s goal of reducing the cost of living in our northern communities.
By the end of this fiscal year, our investments in biomass technology will have cumulatively displaced heating oil equivalent to ten million litres, will have reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 26,444 tonnes, and will have saved our Government approximately $2.42 million in associated costs.
Thank you, Mr. Speaker.