Flows of the regional energy ecosystem

Energy and environmental performance of the regional energy ecosystem

The Regional Energy Ecosystem (REE) project of the MRC du Domaine-du-Roy, in close collaboration with the City of Saint-Félicien and the Saint-Félicien Cogeneration Company (SCSF), will significantly contribute to the decarbonization of the Quebec economy, the energy transition and the reduction of GHG emissions (54,215 TeqCO2 / year). Efforts in this direction at the territorial level have been under way for more than twenty years.

The hub of the EER of the MRC du Domaine-du-Roy is the Saint-Félicien forest biomass cogeneration plant. This plant consumes 255,000 tmv of bark as fuel annually, sells 125 GWh of electricity annually to Hydro-Québec under an APR91 contract and sells 63 GWh annually in the form of steam to Resolute Forest Products to supply the dryers of the Saint-Félicien sawmill.

The construction of the municipal heat network of the EER of the MRC du Domaine-du-Roy to recover low-temperature thermal discharges from the cogeneration plant has been launched since September 2022 and the commissioning is planned by the City of Saint- Félicien in the fall of 2024. The technologies involved in the Domaine-du-Roy EER are mastered and the main EER companies have already committed themselves. The realization of the ERA to its full capacity can be envisaged within a very reasonable time. The application of the principle of circular economy will make it possible to optimize the exploitation of residual forest biomass in terms of the value chain. Indeed, in qualitative and quantitative terms, the Biomass Valorization Center (CVB) of the MRC du Domaine-du-Roy as a whole aims to:

  • The management annually by the CVB of 90,000 mt of residual forest biomass without buyers and thus to optimize the use of this resource in Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean. 
  • The drying of 68,000 tmv / year of residual forest biomass by the low temperature drying unit of the CVB.
  • The annual production of 5,000 tons of biochar and 720 tons of green hydrogen by CHAR Tech (phase 1).
  • The annual production of 9,000 tmv of industrial quality fuel chips by the CVB for industrial biomass heating systems.
  • The annual preparation by the CVB of an additional 23,000 mt of sustainable and carbon-neutral fuel (biomass) for the cogeneration plant.
  • Production of extractables from black spruce bark (e.g. biocides, flavonoids and biosourced antioxidant polyphenols – 40 to 60 tonnes/year). 

To this are added: 

  • 28 ha of intensive commercial greenhouse complexes located on the municipal agrothermal park served by the municipal heating network (heating of greenhouses).
  • 8,000 m² of industrial buildings located in the municipal thermal industrial park served by the municipal heating network (building heating, process thermal energy).
  • 63 GWh/year of thermal energy in the form of steam (carbon neutral) sold by the Saint-Félicien Cogeneration Company to Résolu Forest Products to supply the dryers of the Saint-Félicien sawmill (replacing the steam produced by boilers natural gas).

The planned investments are major (more than $250 million) and the economic benefits will be very significant for the region (consolidation of existing businesses, business investments, creation of direct and indirect jobs, creation of energy and material flows ). 

The RME of the MRC du Domaine-du-Roy, based on the bioeconomy, will have a structuring effect on the regional forest biomass sector and its value chain thanks to an optimization of the harvesting of the raw material and a wide range remunerative scheme for recovering residual forest biomass. 

The boreal forest is a valuable public good and a renewable resource that must be managed and exploited with care and respect. The boreal forest has always been a historical pillar of the economic development of the MRC du Domaine-du-Roy. Rather than turning its back on its past, the MRC du Domaine-du-Roy, in close collaboration with local communities, is voluntarily embarking on a new way of exploiting the boreal forest and optimizing this resource in order to contribute to Quebec's autonomy and energy security by respecting the fundamental principles of sustainable development: socially just, economically viable and environmentally bearable. 

The regional energy ecosystem of the MRC du Domaine-du-Roy will enable a recurring annual reduction in GHG emissions of 54,215 TeqCO2.

The social cost of carbon dioxide (SC-CO2) measures the monetary value of the damage caused to society by an additional metric ton of CO2 emissions and is a key measure for climate policy.

The damage caused to society by GHG emissions stems from their negative and detrimental impacts on climate change, health, parasitic diseases, sea level rise, biodiversity, water availability, as well as the occurrence of storms, floods and other climatic accidents. The colossal costs, material and human, of the increasingly frequent climatic catastrophes during the last decade are a clear demonstration of this. 

The higher SC-CO2 values ​​(282 CAN$ / TeqCO2 emitted – American study published in September 2022), compared to the estimates currently used, both in the United States and in Canada, in the evaluation of policies (80 to 125 CAN $/TeqCO2e emitted), significantly increase the estimated benefits of mitigating greenhouse gas emissions and thus increase the expected net benefits of more stringent climate policies.

The regional energy ecosystem of the MRC du Domaine-du-Roy at full capacity will make it possible to reduce the GHG emissions of the companies making up this ecosystem by 54,215 TeqCO2 annually compared to a 100% fossil fuel reference scenario. This annual reduction in GHG emissions of 54,215 TeqCO2 will make it possible to avoid annually and on a recurring basis the cost of the environmental impacts of these GHGs to the tune of $15.3 million. This recurring annual saving of $15.3 million is for the benefit of the community since these costs are never integrated into the selling prices by the emitting companies (externalities) but are indeed borne by the various levels of government.

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Client: MRC du Domaine du Roy
Location: Saint-Félicien (QC)