Transitioning to cleaner power is essential to protecting the environment, creating more sustainable communities and building a cleaner future. This project will create good jobs, boost regional economic growth, and serve as a model for communities across Saskatchewan looking to transition to renewable energy.
The Meadow Lake Tribal Council’s (MLTC) bioenergy plant is a first of its kind green energy biomass project for Saskatchewan, combining environmental improvement with thermal efficiency and directly improving the economic outcomes for the ultimate recipients of the project – the nine (9) member-First Nations comprising the Meadow Lake Tribal Council.
The objective of MLTC’s bioenergy project is to generate carbon-neutral green power using sawmill biomass residuals and to reduce air emissions by eliminating one of Canada’s last remaining beehive burners. The project consists of installation of a bioenergy power plant at the Meadow Lake Tribal Council’s (MLTC) NorSask sawmill site located near Meadow Lake, Saskatchewan.
The installation will involve one air-cooled, refractory-lined, reciprocating grate furnace with thermal oil heat exchangers, a 6.6 MW Organic Rankine Cycle (ORC) turbo-generator and all associated fuel handling and environmental emission systems. The bioenergy plant will achieve significant environmental benefits by reducing adverse air emissions and particulate matter. The bioenergy plant will also enhance the economic outcomes of the nine Indigenous communities associated with the Meadow Lake Tribal Council through improved operations of Canada’s only 100% Indigenous-owned sawmill by converting a waste stream into valuable energy. The ultimate recipients of the financial benefits of the power plant will be the Indigenous youth and families of the Meadow Lake Tribal Council located in northwest Saskatchewan.
NorSask Forest Products LP (NorSask) currently incinerates 100% of its residual sawmill-related biomass in an approximately 50 year-old ‘beehive’ burner. In order to address provincial environmental regulations, contribute to Saskatchewan’s green energy mandate and to generate economic benefits specifically for Indigenous peoples, MLTC intends to build an Organic Rankine Cycle (ORC) biomass-based combined heat and power (CHP) cogeneration system for their sawmill and planer-mill operation in Meadow Lake, Saskatchewan. The power generation system will consume approximately 55,000 ODT/year of biomass and will generate 55,000+ MWh per year of firm, flat profile electrical energy. Two lumber kilns at the plant will be converted to biomass heating for further carbon emission reductions.