Nexterra, Dockside Green fire-up biomass gasifier

By Anna Austin
Posted June 4, 2009, at 2:52 p.m. CST

Biomass gasification system provider Nexterra Energy Corp. announced its system installed at Dockside Green on the inner harbor at Victoria, British Columbia, is now operational and able to provide heat and hot water for up to 2,500 Dockside Green residents.

Nexterra announced its involvement with Dockside Green in March 2007, which is a $600 million residential and commercial development located on 15 acres of former industrial land. Residential phases are complete, and commercial buildings are currently being constructed.

Nexterra's system uses a thermochemical gasification process to create a synthetic gas which is burned to produce heat. Wood materials, water and air are heated in a low-oxygen environment until the wood undergoes gaseous decomposition. The resulting flue gas products are scrubbed and cleaned through an electrostatic precipitator, and then burned to produce heat for a water boiler. The boiler will supply the majority of Dockside heating requirements with some peak load supplied by the backup/peaking gas boilers.

The Dockside gasification system, fueled by clean, locally sourced urban wood residue, requires two to three 20-ton truckloads of wood waste per week, or approximately 150 trucks per year to deliver an annual total of 3,000 tons of wood waste, according to Nexterra Energy Director of Marketing Charlie Ker.

"The trucks are traveling 20 kilometers from the wood source, which is being supplied by Alpine Waste Recycling," Kerr said. "Arrangements have also been made with Alpine to collect the mineral-rich ash residue-100 tons per year-from the biomass plant and use it in their compost recycling. So, the entire process at the plant involves recycled materials from the wood waste used as fuel to the residual ash used in compost soil material."

The gasification system at Dockside Green is owned by Dockside Green LLP, a micro-energy utility that was created by Terasen Energy Services, Vancity Capital, Corix Group of Companies and Windmill West Developments.

Dockside Green has achieved LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Platinum level certification in the category of new construction with 63 points out of a possible 70. The LEED Green Building Rating System is a voluntary, consensus-based certification program for developing high-performance, sustainable buildings. Learn more about the LEED program here at