Initiatives up for Environment Awards

Two co-operative initiatives are in the running for accolades at the 2017 Southland Community Environment Awards.

Venture Southland has a long standing commitment to supporting community and industry to undertake ground breaking projects with environmental benefits.

Wood Energy South is a carbon emissions reduction pilot project delivered by Venture Southland and funded by the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA). The pilot focused on promoting the benefits of industrial biomass boilers, facilitated and funded conversion of boilers and commissioned additional studies to confirm security of future fuel supply.

During the three year pilot Wood Energy South assisted with the removal of thousands of tonnes of carbon from the atmosphere. While the pilot has concluded Venture Southland, through Wood Energy South, is still actively promoting the conversion to biomass boilers in the region.

The good work undertaken by the Wood Energy South team has already been acknowledged at a national level when the initiative won the Large Energy User of the Year Award at the 2017 Deloitte Energy Excellence Awards.

Glenarlea Farm, a Fortuna Group dairy farm is converting methane gas captured from the dairy effluent pond into electricity for the dairy shed, and heating water that can be used for wash-down purposes on the farm.

The project has been a collective effort by Dairy Green, the Fortuna Group, Venture Southland National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA) and EECA.

Venture Southland Group Manager for Business and Strategic Projects, Steve Canny says both Wood Energy South and dairy methane recovery are guiding lights for others to follow.

“The minimisation of the use of fossil fuels and reduction of methane gas emissions are all important outcomes if New Zealand is to meet international emission commitments; not to mention the positive health implications of reducing the coal burnt in our boilers and the significant energy cost savings associated with methane recovery.”

“Environment Southland is to be applauded for it long standing commitment to celebrating the efforts of Southlanders to improve our environment through the Southland Community Environment Awards.”