Economic and energy efficiency assessment of biomass harvesting at a northern off-grid community: a case study of Barren Lands First Nation at Brochet, Manitoba, Canada.
This study was the first to analyze the cost and energy requirements to harvest and transport wood-biomass to an off-grid community, namely Brochet, Manitoba, for the purpose of bioenergy. The study takes the unique local conditions and circumstances of a remote northern off-grid community into consideration, including: marginal forest resources and transport over winter road networks. Analysis of the forest resources within the study area using various resources found that the wood supply for a biomass facility was adequate. Under most conditions, the combined cost to harvest and transport biomass to Brochet using a variety of systems was less expensive than the combined purchase and transport cost of diesel fuel. The analysis also found that significant employment opportunities and a reduction in carbon emissions would be realized through wood biomass production.