Albany pool heater runs on wood chips

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Recreation services manager Samantha Stevens and WA Biofuels Darryl Outhwaite with some of the woodchips that are keeping the pool heated.
Camera IconRecreation services manager Samantha Stevens and WA Biofuels Darryl Outhwaite with some of the woodchips that are keeping the pool heated. Credit: City of Albany

One of Albany’s most popular community centres has turned to environmentally friendly wood fires to heat its pool as the town takes another step towards a renewable energy future.

Last week the Albany Leisure and Aquatic Centre’s new boiler burnt its first wood chips.

The boiler will consume up to 500 tonnes of wood a year and bring down ALAC’s annual gas bill by about $50,000.

Darryl Outhwaite from WA Biofuels said the project had been able to support local employment in plumbing, electrical, engineering and forestry.

“It takes about two hours for the region’s timber plantations to regrow the amount of fuel that we need to heat the leisure centre for a year," he said.

“It’s not only renewable, but the trees planted also provided great landcare benefits in the form of clean air, water and biodiversity.”

Recreation services manager Samantha Stevens was excited to have the new system operating.

“Transitioning to biofuel is both economically and environmentally beneficial,” she said. “Running on gas heating has been very expensive and we have been at the mercy of the market.”

Albany Mayor Dennis Wellington said the ALAC upgrade was one of the ways the town was moving towards 100 per cent energy efficiency.

“I’m really pleased to see we have been able to embrace a renewable energy at ALAC, and look forward to continuing to work with industry and government to ensure Albany leads the way in adopting sustainable solutions,” he said.

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