Seven more biomass installations are in line for government facilities early next year, says Energy Minister Paula Biggar.

Already in place at 13 government properties, Biggar says the heating method reduces greenhouse gas and supports local industry.

“Biomass heat is a local, renewable, carbon neutral resource, and government is leading the way for biomass heat,” she said.

Prince Edward Island’s total energy mix is made up of approximately 10 per cent biomass energy.

Biggar says Island biomass installations have displaced 2.4 million litres of fuel oil, which resulted in a reduction of 6,500 tonnes of greenhouse gas and cost-savings of more than $200,000 since 2012.

The installations planned for 2016 could result in a further reduction of 2.6 million litres of fuel oil and 7,200 tonnes of green house gas, per year.

One tonne of biomass chips can produce up to four megawatt hours of heat, which displaces approximately 580 litres of fuel oil.

The biomass chips are harvested through selective thinning of Island forests.

Mathieu LeBlanc of ACFOR Energy specializes in sustainable forest management.

“With good planning, biomass wood chips are a renewable, inexhaustible resource, as long as the forests are managed sustainably,” said LeBlanc. “Selective thinning of Island forests for use in biomass ensures less crowding of the superior trees, better access to sunlight and water, and all in all, leads to improvements of the health of the forest.”

ACFOR Energy is one of four companies who design, construct, finance and operate biomass installations and sell heat to government facilities.