Wood Energy South fires up

Venture Southland and the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA) have partnered-up to establish Wood Energy South – the nation’s first regional renewable heat hub.

EECA is investing $1.5million into Wood Energy South, which will build capacity and create awareness about the viability of waste wood as a renewable industrial fuel source. Venture Southland will establish a cluster of wood energy use in commercial and industrial applications in Southland over the next three years.

New Opportunities

Industry stakeholders have welcomed the project as a significant opportunity for Southland businesses to take advantage of the commercial and environmental benefits of wood fuel fired boilers utilising local waste wood. The project will also support local businesses, schools, rest homes, hospitals, and industrial processes to lower energy-related carbon emissions and improve air quality.

Southland was chosen to establish a regional renewable heat hub as its forestry and wood processing facilities generate 300,000 tonnes of potential wood fuel a year. While the project focuses on building capacity on a regional scale it is expected it will act as a pilot for New Zealand and key findings will be transferred across other regions and on a national scale.

Wood Energy South builds on the thermal energy switching opportunities identified in the Southland Wood Energy Demand Assessment June 2011. It will also closely align with Environment Southland’s air quality plan, which will focus on building capacity in alternative heat plant solutions for upcoming air regulations.

Wood Energy South’s year one work plan was signed off at the inaugural Steering group meeting and the project will be officially launched in Invercargill on 30 October.

Wood energy technical support and advisory services are available for industry and heat plant stakeholders. Contact Lloyd McGinty  to find out more about these services.

Upcoming events

Launch event and site visits Thursday 30 October. Keep an eye on the Venture Southland events calendar or sign up to receive information regarding the launch.

If you would like to find out more about the project or to be added to the database to receive project updates please contact Cathy Jordan. 


For more information, contact:
Cathy Jordan
Enterprise Projects Coordinator
03 211 1400