This involves small scale wood harvesting. Timber is salvaged and processed locally into wood fuel.
- Fuel produced includes cord wood, short logs and wood chips.
- This is used for residential and commercial heating in Fort Chipewyan.
- 3NE leadership has recognized that this is something that is beneficial for the whole community, and it is optimal through collaboration.
Wood Heating is Clean
- Wood heating is an environmentally friendly heat source that reduces reliance on fossil fuels and improves home comfort.
- Wood fuel is considered a renewable energy source as new trees will grow and mature within a reasonable time frame if sustainable forestry practices are used, ensuring that we will not run out.
- Sustainable forestry practices also ensure the carbon dioxide produced during burning is offset by the carbon dioxide absorbed by the growing trees.
How the Program Started
- A large part of a community energy plan requires consulting with community members to see what low carbon options would best serve the people.
- The ACFN and MCFN’s Community Energy Plan (CEP) showed there was strong interest to:
- have more reliable residential and commercial heating.
- increase wood heating, to replace fossil fuel heating.
What Has Been Done So Far
- A firewood processor has been purchased and was shipped to the community by barge.
- The firewood processor will both chop and split timber onsite in a safe manner.
- Training of local interested community members on how to operate the firewood processor has begun.
- The program has reclaimed the timber that was cleared during the creation of the 3NE solar farm project. (Normally this would have just been burned on site.) This fuel source has been stock-piled and is being processed into cordwood.
- The program will provide seasonal employment within the community.
- 3NE has assumed a FireSmart contract that will thin trees in the Allison Bay area, north of Fort Chipewyan, to reduce the threat of forest fire.
- The timber that is cut down will be salvaged and repurposed for the local wood fuel heating business by the wood processor.
- The program will install a central wood heat boiler to ACFN’s new 15-unit residential complex in 2021.
- In total, 10-15 ACFN homes will install wood stoves and we anticipate many other homes to have wood stoves installed as the community supply of cordwood increases.