by BETTER FARMING STAFF
New Energy Farms expects to employ eight to 10 workers this summer when they open a mill to convert biomass into coal-sized cubes for burning. The mill will be in a 26,000 square foot building that is not yet under construction
Dean Tiessen, one of the owners of New Energy Farms, said the plant and equipment is going to cost about $3.2 million. Biomass for the plant will come from "our own purpose-grown material (miscanthus), from straw, any ag residues that might be out here in the area that's cost effective as well as wood fibre," Tiessen said.
Plant capacity will be 70,000 tonnes of biomass cubes per year, with half of the product going to fire boilers in Leamington area greenhouses owned by New Energy Farms. The plant will also process biomass for use as animal bedding, greenhouse plant medium for hydroponics and fibre for trays and other rigid products.
The building roof will be used for a 250-kilowatt solar production unit supplying power to the Ontario electric grid through the feed-in tariff program. BF