Energy efficient

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VENTURE Southland (VS) was one of the winners at this year’s Deloitte Energy Excellence Awards.

Three Southland-based companies made it to the finals of the awards, which recognised achievement across the electricity, gas, petroleum and transport energy industries. This year’s awards ceremony was held last week in Auckland, where VS won the Large Energy User of the Year category for its Wood Energy South initiative.

The Wood Energy South initiative was a three-year carbon-emissions reduction project focused on promoting the benefits of industrial biomass boilers.

Woodchips from Southland sawmills were used to run 16 boilers installed throughout the region, instead of fossil fuels.

VS strategic projects manager Steve Canny said this had resulted in a 216,000-ton reduction in CO roughly equal to having 3200 fewer vehicles on the road.

“We look forward now to other regions taking up the challenge and building on the success of Wood Energy South. There are many benefits of converting from fossil-derived fuel to clean-burning renewable wood energy including low carbon emissions, low long-term costs and significant reductions in the discharge of unhealthy particulates into the atmosphere,” Mr Canny said.

The other Southland businesses which made it to the finals in their respective catagories were Dairy Green, in the Energy Technology of the Year category, and PowerNet, for the Energy Project of the Year category.

Dairy Green, in collaboration with the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority, the National Institute of Water and Atmosphere, VS and Fortuna Group, were the innovators of a methane recovery system at Glenarlea Farms at Isla Bank.

The system captured biogas from the farm’s covered pool of dairy-shed effluent and used it to power a generator.

Along with electricity from the grid, electricity from the generator was used to run the dairy farm, significantly reducing power costs.

PowerNet made the finals of the Energy Project of the Year category for a substation built in Invercargill’s inner-city.

The project was recognised for the innovation and meticulous planning needed to overcome the challenges of building such a facility within a residential zone.

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