KINGSEY FALLS, Que.—Packaging and tissue products maker Cascades Inc. and solar thermal firm Rackam have inaugurated a solar park in southern Quebec that will be used to heat water used in Cascades’ facilities there.
A first in the pulp and paper industry, the concentrated solar power (CSP) system will heat more than 87 million litres of pressurized water used at Cascades’ operations in Kingsey Falls, Que., saving 139,700 cubic metres of natural gas annually and reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by more than 265 equivalent tonnes of carbon dioxide per year, or 5300 tonnes of over 20 years.
“The solar park in Kingsey Falls is the only facility of its kind in Canada, which is proof of Cascades’ leadership and innovative spirit,” Mathieu Chagnon, president of Rackam, said in a news release.
“Rackam rose to the challenge to successfully develop this new solar technology. The results are extremely satisfying: more than 1,490 square metres of mirrors will produce over one megawatt-hour per year, allowing the solar park to supply high-quality energy to the Kingsey Falls industrial complex.”
Cascades and Racked started work on the $1-million Alain-Lemaire Solar Park in June 2014, with the facility built to heat water to between 106° and 118°C.
Financing for the project came in part from a $463,500 grant from Quebec’s Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources through the former Energy Innovation Assistance Program (PAIE), now part of the Technoclimat Program.
Energy company Gaz Metro contributed $76,000 through its innovation program.
“The completion of this project is the logical outcome of the vision the Quebec government has adopted concerning green energy. We are making significant efforts to support the development of new sources of clean energy, and to encourage the business community to employ these innovative energy-producing technologies,” Energy and Natural Resources Minister Pierre Arcand said.
“The project… demonstrates the skill and ingenuity of Quebec entrepreneurs who are moving forward with innovative technologies that will have positive impacts on both our economy and the environment.”