FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Environment, Energy & Forestry

CHARLOTTETOWN, PEI — The provincial government and La Commission scolaire de langue française are co-operating in a project to demonstrate the possible cost savings and environmental benefits that could be gained through the use of bio-fuels.

Beginning in the fall of 2008, École Évangéline in Abram-Village will be using a pellet-fuel furnace as its primary heat source, with an oil-heat system used only to supplement the pellet-fuel system. The school now spends approximately $100,000 per year on heating oil, but expects that the addition of the system which burns pelletized wood will dramatically cut its annual bill.

“By adding a new fuel source to our building, we are looking to promote green energy, reduce our energy costs and reduce our exposure to volatile heating oil prices. We hope this move will ensure more of our budget goes to where that money is best spent – on the education of the students,” said Brad Samson, director of business operations for La Commission scolaire.

The heating system being installed is an Austrian-built 300 kilowatt Kob Pyrot pellet furnace, supplied by Atlantic Cool Air of Wellington (Contact Dick Arsenault at 1-866-526-5500 for more information). The unit arrives in a ready-for-installation container designed to be placed outside the school building and integrated into the heating system through two pipes that connect to a heat exchanger inside the building. The system will burn pellets made from wood but can also burn pellet fuel made from other agricultural plant material such as straw.

Environment, Energy and Forestry Minister George Webster said the pilot project will demonstrate the cost savings that could be achieved by moving away from fossil fuels.

“This burner uses fuel that can be supplied from forest resources or from plant sources grown specifically as fuel, with a carbon emission level much lower than that resulting from the consumption of heating oil,” said Minister Webster.

“The fact that this system can be installed with very little renovation to an existing building suggests that, if this burner performs as we hope, renewable fuel heating systems could be an option for similar institutions hoping to save money while reducing their environmental footprint.”

The $180,000 heating unit is being funded by the provincial government through the Trust Fund for Clean Air and Climate Change.

This installation will be one of a number of biomass systems to be installed in public institutions prior to the 2008/2009 heating season.