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Prince George greenhouse gets funds for biochar furnace

October 29, 2012  By Treena Hein

The Livesmart Small Business Champion program provides funds for energy-saving projects in BC.

Sunset Pines Greenhouse in Prince George, BC has received $25,000 dollars from the LiveSmart BC ‘Small Business Champion Program’ to build a new bio-char furnace system to heat their greenhouse and produce a fertilization product.


The BC government news release (here) states:


“Sunset Pines Greenhouse aims to reduce the massive energy consumption currently required to heat the greenhouse with propane by using a revolutionary biochar furnace system that will reduce propane use by up to 50 per cent.

This system uses a high temperature thermal decomposition process to divert waste biomass, produce renewable heat energy and sequester carbon while producing a valuable natural soil-enhancement product that can be used in the greenhouse. This project would be the first of its kind in B.C.”

The LiveSmart Champion Program provides funding to small businesses that demonstrate leadership in their community by developing creative methods to save energy within their business operations A total of $550,000 in funding was made available with a maximum amount of $25,000 to any one applicant.

The LiveSmart BC Champion Program is a component of the LiveSmart BC: Small Business Program launched in January 2011.

· This $17-million program assists business owners in saving money by reducing their energy consumption with free energy-efficiency advice, equipment and incentives. The funding for this program ends on March 31, 2013.
· Small business can receive a free assessment from Business Energy Advisors through business associations and chambers of commerce throughout the province.
· The LiveSmart BC Champion program awards up to $25,000 to successful applicants.
· To date, LiveSmart BC has helped over 9,000 small businesses to save energy and money.

Sunset Pines Greenhouse is working with Out of Ashes BioEnergy (Facebook page here) which states that it ‘will become a leading small-scale producer of energy and high-quality Designer Biochars based on customer’s specific requirements.’
“We are a Canadian corporation headquartered in Prince George, BC. Founded in 2011, the business has focused on research and market development prior to active production in 2012.
Our company vision is to become a leading supplier of biomass heating solutions with a range of organic biochar available for purchase under our boutique brand, Turtleback Biochar.
Through an innovative, co-operative and scalable (not mass-produced) business model, Out of Ashes BioEnergy Inc. works with greenhouse growers, large and small, providing consultation, installation, feedstock supply and service of clean, green biomass furnaces that can significantly decrease heating costs and extend your growing season. These same furnaces programmed to our specifications also produce high-quality biochar.”

                            (Image of woody biomass and bio-char is courtesy
                                ‘Out of Ashes BioEnergy Inc. Facebook page.)

“With sustainability being top of mind, we are committed to being carbon-negative and adhere to zero waste policies. This commitment is demonstrated in everything we do right down to our product packaging. Once the metal tin-tie is removed for recycling, the corn-starch lined bags can be composted right in the garden or recycled.
Our biochar is tested by an independent lab in accordance with the guidelines for characterization set out by the International Biochar Initiative. As a grassroots eco-friendly business, our strong social values and corporate ethic combine in our efforts to support education, local businesses, community gardens and the Prince George Farmers’ Market.”

The TurtleBack BioChar website is here.

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