Merritt is contributing to the green goals of Canada as local company, Valley Carriers Ltd., have converted wood waste into electricity. The Forest Enhancement Society of BC (FESBC) has given updates on nine of their 134 provincially funded projects, through a recent report. Among the nine projects was a slash grinding initiative by Valley Carriers Ltd., which transports wood waste to Merritt Green Energy for energy conversion.
“Basically we went through piles of brush and tops that were left after the logging process,” said Valley Carriers Director of Operations Derek Mobbs.
The operation took place from March 2019 up to March 2022, covering areas in Peachland, Princeton, and Merritt. The project was able to handle 24,000 cubic metres of wood waste.
“We would go through the roads that were there and we would bring a horizontal grinder and a feed machine,” said Mobbs.
“Trucks would come along to collect the ground wood and bring it to town to the plant, utilizing it for green energy. The fiber itself creates steam which they create energy from and then it goes to the grid, through BC Hydro.”
Initially, Valley Carriers approached FESBC for funding on a slash bundler project but would soon realize that it wasn’t the work they wanted to do. They would apply for their slash grinding project shortly after.
“After the application was submitted, they approved it and it was on an incremental haul basis, where we would provide a preliminary estimate of what the customer would pay for the product and then land it,” Mobbs explained.
“FESBC provided us the funding to move this stuff from farther out of town. They provided the solution to haul the material that was farther away which we could not afford to reach on our own. In return, our project cuts down on greenhouse gas emissions because it doesn’t have to be burned. It gets brought into town to be converted into power.”
The ‘Accomplishments Update’ report published information on outcomes of the Province’s $150 million investment under the Low Carbon Economy Leadership Fund (LCELF). The Government of Canada’s targets under the Paris Agreement are progressing impressively due to the results of these projects.
“The Forest Enhancement Society of BC is a proven partner that delivers on-the-ground forestry projects that protect people and communities from wildfires,” said Katrine Conroy, Minister of Forests.
“Our investment in sustainable and innovative forestry projects strengthens our ability to prepare and adapt to the impacts of climate change that put our forests and communities at risk. I recently visited Williams Lake and saw firsthand how the Forest Enhancement Society of BC is working with its partners to improve forest health, reduce carbon emissions, and protect BC communities.”
FESBC received $150 million from the Provincial government’s $250 million federal funding in 2017. The LCELF invested in projects that generated clean growth and reduced carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases, this coincides with the country’s made-in-Canada climate plan.
134 projects throughout the province were funded by FESBC to create 1,300+ full time-equivalent jobs, plant 66 million trees, and sequester approximately 4.2 million tonnes of CO2e by 2050, which is equivalent to 904,000 gasoline-powered vehicles off the road for one year.
Through these projects, FESBC met the target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the forest sector and increase the capture of carbon through the restoration of forests damaged by disease, insects, and wildfire, under B.C.’s Climate Leadership Plan.
“We are in alignment with the Province of BC, the Government of Canada, and the United Nations in recognizing that forestry is a significant nature-based tool we can use to take meaningful action against climate change,” said Steve Kozuki,Executive Director, FESBC.
“This report showcases the impactful work undertaken by our project partners and the long-term benefits that these projects will bring to the province.”
To see the full report, please visit https://www.fesbc.ca/reports/