Wood chips used to heat pool in Australia

By Erin Voegele | December 31, 2018

The city of Albany in Western Australia has announced that a biomass boiler is now heating the leisure pool at the Albany Leisure and Aquatic Center. On Dec. 5, the city announced the boiler burned its first wood chips the previous week.

According to information released by the city, the biomass project was first conceived five years ago. The new biomass boiler has allowed the ALAC to switch off its gas system, which will now be used as a backup.

The biomass project is expected to save the ALAC approximately $50,000 per year on gas. A statement released by the city indicates ALAC worked with local firm WA Biofuels to explore the potential for the biomass heating system.

“Transitioning to biofuel is both economically and environmentally beneficial,” said Recreation Services Management Sam Stevens in a statement issued by the city. “Running on gas heating has been very expensive and we have been at the mercy of the market, with gas prices extremely high at the moment. WA Biofuels has built and will own and operate the boiler system, there has been no up-front capital needed from the city to adopt this new technology.”

The boiler will consume approximately 400 to 500 metric tons of wood chips annually, according to Darryl Outhwaite of WA Biofuels.