Community District Energy

City of Charlottetown

In Prince Edward Island's Capital City, a Biomass Pioneer Just Keeps Working

One of North America's biomass energy innovators has been the district energy system in Charlottetown, the capital of Prince Edward Island, which uses woodchips and municipal solid waste plus some fuel oil to heat the city's commercial center and large buildings...

City of Revelstoke

Mountain City Creates a New Fuel: Its Own Forests

Revelstoke is a scenic and compact mountain city with a fast-growing ski area and a large cedar sawmill in the forested Columbia River Valley of British Columbia. When volunteers here decided to create a biomass district heating system, to be fueled with ample wood waste from the sawmill, they had a working model to follow—their own...

Community-Owned Pellet District Heating System

Modular Units Make for a Low-Cost, Profitable System

When the Swedish town of Mullsjø went from oil to wood pellets to fuel its district heating system in 2006, it brought in three modular units, each pre-assembled with a complete boiler house and pellet silo. The cost, for buildings, boilers, and pellet storage, was 18 million Swedish kroner ($2.2 million US), for a system that serves 95 percent of the 5,000-resident town...

Cooperatively Owned System

For Four Farmers, Woodchip Boilers Drive an Expanding Business

In a way, says one of the four farmers who co-own a woodchip district heating system that serves a growing clientele in the rural Austrian town of Buchkirchen, the system owners are like doctors. They take turns being on call...

Hållanders Sawmill & Village of Dalstorp

With Wood Waste, A Sawmill Heats Its Town

In the very small village of Dalstorp in the Swedish municipality of Tranemo kommun, the Hållanders Sawmill is a big employer. Since 2006, it has also been the town’s primary heat supplier...

Lundsbrunns Bioenergi AB

Small Swedish Company Supplies District Heat, Providing Income for Five Farmer/Shareholders

Across Scandinavia and in Austria as well, many small, wood-fired district energy systems that were developed by farmers are serving communities. Some of these systems run as cooperatives. One of those is in the small town of Lundsbrunns, in central Sweden near Jönkøping, where several farmers own, manage, and supply wood for a woodchip-fired system that sells heat to a single customer: the local municipality...

Town of Gjern Varmevaerk

A Town's Customer-Owned Pellet System Keeps Its Profile and Heating Costs Low

The wood pellet district system that heats the small Danish town of Gjern Varmevaerk is striking for several reasons. One is that it’s just plain hard to spot...

Town of Gleinstätten

Austrian Town's Dual-Fuel District System Gives it Secure Heat, Renewably Fueled

Many Austrians feel a double impetus to move toward renewable energy systems. Along with weaning their country and communities from imported oil, they tend to see the supply of natural gas, imported mainly from Russia, as uncertain—especially after Russia cut off supplies during a quarrel with Ukraine in the winter of 2008...

Towns of Toblach and Olang

How Three Alpine Resort Towns Became District Heat Champions

In 1994, the mayor of Toblach, an affluent resort town in Italy’s region of the Alps near the Austrian border, asked a young municipal employee named Stefan Clara if he could take charge of creating a new, woodchip district heating system to serve the town of 3,300. Clara said yes. Then he hurried back to his office to find out what “district heating” was. He knows now...

Village of Hovmantorp

Swedish Town's Public District Heating System Runs Clean on Woodchips—and Earns a Profit

Says Silve Piejko, vice president of Järnforsen Energi System, a Swedish wood boiler system manufacturer, “Sweden decided to get off fossil fuels a long time ago. Now we have wood-fired district heating everywhere.”...

Village of Koivulahti

In a Village Center, A Woodchip Plant Simply Works

When the residents of the village center in Koivulahti, a town in western Finland, learned that a small biomass district-heating plant was being built in the midst of their village, they were worried. And they said so...

Village of Oujé-Bougoumou

Waste Wood Helps Fuel a Native Community's Development

In the mid 1980s, people in the tiny Cree Nation community of Oujé-Bougoumou, in the James Bay region of Quebec, were reminded every time they drove their region’s major highway of the stark contrast between their own values about resource use and the practices of the world around them...

Vølund Gasifier Plant and Town of Harboøre

On the Coast of Denmark, a Quietly High-Performing Woodchip Gasifier Is Producing District Heat and Power

A key goal, and an elusive one, in the worldwide quest to develop an efficient, reliable, clean gasifer to convert wood into electrictiy using an engine instead of a steam boiler, has been to build one that runs a dependable 4,000 hours per year...