How Tignish is 'doing its part' for the environment

The Town of Tignish is taking steps to become more environmentally friendly by reducing its use of furnace oil.

New wood chip boiler provides heat for 10 buildings in the town

The wood chip boiler will save 200,000 litres of oil a year in Tignish, officials say. (Brittany Spencer/CBC)

The Town of Tignish is taking steps to become more environmentally friendly by reducing its use of furnace oil.

The community installed a new heating system powered by wood chips from trees grown and harvested on P.E.I.

The boiler will provide heat energy to 10 buildings in the town, including three seniors homes, an elementary school and the local Co-op.

The project cost approximately $1.1 million that came from government grants and Tignish Initiatives, a non-profit community economic development corporation.

The wood chips will come from trees grown and harvested on P.E.I. (Brittany Spencer/CBC)

"Tignish is definitely doing its part for climate change," said Dryden Buote, acting chair of Tignish Initiatives.

'We're eliminating 15,000 tonnes of greenhouse gases going into the atmosphere so, you know, Tignish is on the ball when it comes to that.— Dryden Buote

"We're reducing 200,000 litres of oil consumed in this town per year. We're eliminating 15,000 tonnes of greenhouse gases going into the atmosphere so, you know, Tignish is on the ball when it comes to that."

The wood chip boiler heats water that is pumped through insulated, underground pipes to the 10 buildings. It's then re-circulated back to the boiler to be heated again.

The new system will use nearly 500 tonnes of wood chips per year, eliminating the need for furnace oil for the plant.

The boiler runs on an automated system. Technicians can monitor heating levels in all 10 buildings from anywhere with an internet connection.

Project manager Bill Drost says P.E.I. has the capacity for 500 or 600 of the systems and still only use 'waste wood.' (Brittany Spencer/CBC)

Project manager Bill Drost says he plans to meet with other communities to help expand wood chip heating systems across the Island.

"You could install several hundreds of these systems on the Island and still only use what people refer to as waste wood, which is wood which is not good enough for stud wood," he said.

"The annual gross of that is enough to sustain several hundreds, probably 500 or 600 of these systems of this size on the Island."

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With files from Brittany Spencer