Manitoba Hydro offers incentives to use biomass CHP

By Bryan Sims
Web exclusive posted August 26, 2008 at 2:16 p.m. CST

Manitoba's major energy utility Manitoba Hydro has introduced its Bioenergy Optimization Program to encourage the use of sustainable biomass in the production of combined heat and power (CHP) at various customer sites.

The company's initiative falls in line with Manitoba Hydro's Power Smart programs that provide loans and incentives for various residential, commercial and industrial customers to maximize energy efficiency, reduce energy costs and reduce overall emissions. Since Power Smart was introduced in 1991, Manitobans have prevented over 965,000 tons of carbon equivalents from being released into the atmosphere and have saved approximately CAN$275 million on energy costs.

"We are pleased to continue to develop and support alternative and renewable energy sources and technologies such as biomass," said Greg Selinger, minister responsible for Manitoba Hydro. "The use of biomass will result in savings to customers, will reduce greenhouse gas emissions and provide new economic development opportunities for our rural communities."

The program is expected to produce annual load reduction savings of up to 10 megawatts and 78 gigawatt-hours of electricity and 3.8 million cubic meters of natural gas, including 65,580 ton of carbon dioxide emissions by 2017-'18.

"The program can provide significant incentives for participants to undertake feasibility studies and for the capital cost of the required equipment, up to a maximum of $1.2 million," Manitoba Hydro President and Chief Executive Officer Bob Brennan said. "Customers will be able to use biomass-based materials to replace part of their electricity and natural gas supplied by Manitoba Hydro."

The company will also provide customers with technical and economic information about biomass to energy conversion systems to assist them in making a decision about participation. Ultimately, customers participating in the program will be able to optimize overall efficiency of their facilities and reduce their carbon footprint.

To learn more about Manitoba Hydro's Bioenergy Optimization Program, visit

To learn more about Manitoba Hydro's Power Smart Programs, visit