Government of Yukon

March 14, 2016

First biomass heating project to use waste wood in the North

Joint news release

WHITEHORSE— The Government of Yukon and the Yukon Research Centre are providing $60,000 in funding to test a biomass heating project that will address sustainable energy and waste diversion.

Biomass is organic matter that can be used as an energy source. This pilot project will explore the use of wood chips made from waste wood from the Whitehorse landfill and construction projects. This waste wood will be used to heat the buildings at Raven Recycling.

“Adopting biomass energy in Yukon allows for the reduction of heating costs, creates new opportunities in the local forest and heating industries and reduces greenhouse gas emissions,” Minister of Energy, Mines and Resources Scott Kent said. “This biomass fuel pilot project is another step in moving the territory towards sustainable, renewable energy and energy self-sufficiency.”

The wood chip and pellet boiler is a Canadian Standards Agency approved unit that has a wood quality sensor for efficient burning. This allows officials to measure and monitor the heat produced by the biomass system. The project is the first of its kind in the North to use this type of boiler technology.

“Heating our buildings with waste wood offers Yukoners a potentially efficient energy alternative while diverting waste from the Whitehorse landfill,” Cold Climate Innovation, Yukon Research Centre director Stephen Mooney said. “Yukoners need green energy sources that will work in northern applications and our research on biomass for heating and electricity will add to this knowledge thanks to our partnership with Yukon government and CanNor.”

This project was initiated by Chris Schmidt of ACS Mechanical, Inc. who presented his idea to Cold Climate Innovation (CCI) at the Yukon Research Centre. CCI supports Yukoners in developing innovations that benefit the territory. Schmidt installed the boiler and will monitor the unit throughout the project.

The Yukon government recently announced its Yukon Biomass Energy Strategy. The strategy outlines opportunities for generating new energy for heating from local renewable energy sources.

The Yukon Biomass Energy Strategy is part of Yukon government’s broader efforts to increase renewable energy and to achieve energy self-reliance as per the Energy Strategy for Yukon and Climate Change Action Plan.

There are six key programs that operate under the Yukon Research Centre at Yukon College: Biodiversity Monitoring, Cold Climate Innovation, Northern Climate ExChange, NSERC Industrial Research Chair in Mine Life Cycle, Resources and Sustainable Development in the Arctic, Science Adventures and Technology Innovation.

The Yukon Research Centre is funded by Government of Yukon’s Department of Education with funding for Cold Climate Innovation provided by the Department of Economic Development.



Dan Macdonald
Cabinet Communications

Brigitte Parker
Communications, Energy, Mines and Resources
Tanis Davey
Marketing and Communications, Yukon College

News Release #16-078