In researching interviews for The Agenda, I often find myself asking: how do I get all of this great information into an interview that’s only 20 minutes long? The answer is sometimes to skip an entire concept so that the discussion doesn't have to skimp on depth in order to achieve breadth.
That was precisely the case with the October 8th interview with Chris Henderson, who has written a book examining how Canada's First Nations are employing green power projects to benefit their communities and the country's energy landscape. The book is called Aboriginal Power and one of the clean energy solutions that it examines in some detail that wasn't covered in the broadcast interview is biomass. So we took the opportunity, with Chris Henderson in studio in Ottawa, to record an Agenda Plus web exclusive on a biomass project east of Thunder Bay.
According to the Draft Project Description Report (June 2013), the Whitesand biomass project will produce 4 megawatts for the community and for the biomass pellet plant. The plant will in turn create approximately 60,000 metric tons per year of residential and/or industrial grade wood fuel pellets. When I spoke with Chris Toset, the project manager on the Whitesand development, he informed me that the biomass facility is currently in the permitting phase and if everything goes according to plan, could be in construction as early as the fall of 2014.
When it comes on-line, the Whitesand First Nation Cogeneration and Pellet Mill Project will replace diesel generators as the main source of power for the Whitesand First Nation, greatly reducing their carbon footprint and providing ongoing economic stimulus to the community.