Government of Canada and FCM support the plan for collective forestry biomass heating plants in the RCM of La Matapédia (08/06/2015)
A district energy system provides heat from a single source to a number of residential, commercial or institutional buildings.
Amqui (QC) — The Honourable Greg Rickford, Canada's Minister of Natural Resources and Minister of the Federal Economic Development Initiative for Northern Ontario, and Raymond Louie, President of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM), and Acting Mayor of the City of Vancouver, BC, today announced a Green Municipal Fund™ (GMF) grant of $195,169 and a loan of $975,843 in the RCM of La Matapédia. The total financing of $1,171,012 will make it possible to finance collective forestry biomass heating systems that will serve three municipalities in the RCM — Sayabec, Sainte-Irène and Saint-Léon-le-Grand — as well as another in the Val-d'Irène regional park.
"Our government is helping municipalities across the country to achieve their goal of a cleaner and healthier environment for their citizens through the Green Municipal Fund," said Mr. Rickford. "The region's forests constitute its main resource and account for 50% of the jobs in the primary and secondary sectors. Today's announcement is another example of how our government — in partnership with FCM — is helping communities build a greener future for their citizens, while supporting their economic development."
A collective heating system consists of a central energy source that distributes heat to other residential, commercial or institutional buildings. Since 91% of the RCM's territory (5,000 km2) is covered by forest, the residual forest biomass, namely the crowns, branches and foliage left in the forest or on the forest roads during harvesting, will be used as a source of energy.
"The Green Municipal Fund offers a range of resources and services that specifically addresses the sustainable community development needs of municipal governments," said Mr. Louie. "I am pleased that the Fund is supporting the innovations of Matapedians. This project provides an excellent demonstration of the potential for sustainable development in a rural setting when it has the support of a population that wants to diversify its economy, to use renewable energy sources and to reduce greenhouse gas emissions."
In all, the biomass heating project will reduce the combined use of fossil fuels and electricity in 12 buildings by 90%, which translates into an annual greenhouse gas emissions reduction of about 423 tonnes, not to mention the beginning of a consolidation and diversification of the regional economy illustrated, among other things, by the purchasing of biomass from suppliers in La Matapédia, who will receive $60,000 per year for this material.
"The partnership that was instigated right from the start with the aim of preparing and submitting a joint application to the Green Municipal Fund has enabled the RCM and the municipalities of Sayabec, Sainte-Irène and Saint-Léon-le-Grand to benefit from substantial financial assistance for the construction of the heating plants. Simultaneously implementing the four projects increases the visibility of this sustainable source of heating energy, while producing operational savings for our organizations. Finally, the collaboration of Matapedian stakeholders — of the forestry biomass value development network — shows that La Matapédia is a hub of excellence in this niche", stated Chantal Lavoie, Prefect of the RCM of La Matapédia.
This project is an exciting example of how funding from GMF can be combined with funding from other programs to improve municipal infrastructure — in this case, a subsidy of $799,321 granted by Québec's Ministère des ressources naturelles as part of its programme de biomasse forestière résiduelle (residual forest biomass program).
The Government of Canada endowed the Federation of Canadian Municipalities with $550 million to establish the Green Municipal Fund™. The Fund supports partnerships and leveraging of both public and private-sector funding to reach higher standards of air, water and soil quality, and climate protection.
FCM has been the national voice of municipal governments since 1901. It fosters the development of sustainable communities to improve quality of life by promoting strong, effective, and accountable municipal government.