The Circular Head Council, Tasmania, has chosen a wood chip (biomass) boiler system, to provide heating for the Community Wellbeing Centre due for completion in December this year.
Supplemental heating will come from solar hot water fitted to the roof of the new building.
The contract for the boiler system was awarded to New Zealand company Heatwise Solutions Limited who have previously installed biomass boilers for swimming pools in New Zealand and regional Victoria.
The Circular Head Progress Group approached Council about using a wood chip boiler for heating the centre in April 2017, having heard about the technology being used in New Zealand.
Circular Head Community Wellbeing Centre Project Superintendent, Graeme Edwards, said on further investigation the wood chip boiler heating system was found to be much more cost-effective and have more environmental benefits than other energy sources.
“A wood chip system wasn’t originally considered because we were not aware of it being used for swimming pools.
“It’s a good environmental outcome as it will be less noisy and have a much smaller carbon foot print than any other system.
“In terms of cost-saving, our forecast is for it to be 50 percent cheaper than an alternative energy source, with a payback period of less than five years.”
Mr Edwards said local business Britton Timbers would be an option for supplying the wood chips for the heating system.
“Circular Head is renowned for its timber resources, so it makes sense to use a local supplier.
The boiler is anticipated to arrive and be installed by early December, which keeps the centre on track to open before the end of the year.
The Circular Head Community Wellbeing Centre is a project being jointly funded with $3.8 million from the Australian Government, $3.5 million from the Tasmanian Government with the Circular Head Council funding the remainder of the project.