Canadian aquaponics greenhouse to employ biomass CHP system

By Luke Geiver | February 17, 2012

Seattle-based ecoTECH Energy Group has begun site work for a 5 MW biomass facility that will supply heat and power to an aquaponics greenhouse project near McBride, British Columbia. 

The company has already started clearing the land for the $55 million facility, with plans to begin operations in the spring. EcoTECH has signed a contract with a local logging operation to selectively reduce enough of the trees at the site for the new complex. Any of the small trees or scrub removed for the build out will be used as biomass feedstock.

“We believe that this project will be the start of a major regeneration of the industry in the area, and that the economic opportunities to attract businesses will be ample,” said Colin Hall, chairman and CEO of ecoTECH.

Under a 5-year contract, ecoTECH will supply a British Columbia-based supermarket chain, Overwaitea Food Group Ltd. Partnership, with fish and organic vegetables produced using the hydroponic and aquaculture methods. The contract can be renewed, and will total roughly $61.3 million worth of product, or an average of $12 million per year. Products will be delivered starting in the second quarter of 2013, according to ecoTECH.

The company credits its ability to scale such operations to the CHP facility, adding that the food production component will be able to produce roughly $50 million in sales annually on nearly 22 acres of land situated for food production.

Along with the McBride location, ecoTECH also has a division in Montana proposing another CHP facility. Over the next five to seven years, the company intends to build five more CHP facilities across North America.