Thermal power production is one of Boralex’s oldest areas of expertise. However, the inherent challenges of this type of power with respect to raw material costs and the stability of supply have prompted us to scale back this segment’s weight in our portfolio of assets and in our growth strategy since 2010.
Our thermal power segment consists of two modes of production: a wood-residue fired power station at which wood residues are burned in a steam boiler, and a natural gas cogeneration power station, which simultaneously produces heat and steam from a single fuel source: natural gas or other fuels.
The Senneterre power station generates wood-residue thermal energy. To do so, we use forest waste (tree bark, crowns and branches) and other scrap wood (waste wood from manufacturing processes, cable reels, pallets, recycled wood, railway ties, tree stumps and mixed lumber). Wood residues are first conditioned, then introduced into the boiler combustion chamber. Combustion is controlled by the amount and temperature of the combustion air required. The steam produced by the boiler is injected into the turbine, where the steam energy is turned into mechanical energy. The mechanical energy of the turbine is then transformed into electrical energy by the generator.
The Blendecques natural gas cogeneration power station combines a natural gas cycle with a steam cycle; each cycle generates electricity. This power station uses natural gas only to power its gas turbine and drive the generator. The exhaust gas produced by the gas turbine is used to create steam without burning any fuel; the steam drives the steam turbine, generating additional electricity.