Welcome to

Heat New Glasgow

Welcome to the Heat New Glasgow Project Website. Explore to learn more about the feasibility study for a community-wide Biomass District Heating system in the Town of New Glasgow, Nova Scotia. We recently held our first public forum for the proposed district heating system and the idea seems well received so far by residents of the Town. Scroll down to find an article summarizing the conversation.

Low carbon
community heat

A Feasibility Study

Biomass district heating systems use wood chips or other biomass to efficiently produce heat, and often power, in a central plant. Heat is distributed to buildings through insulated underground water pipes and power is sold to the grid.

In line with the Town of New Glasgow’s Climate Action Plan, TorchLight Bioresources has been awarded funding to carry out a feasibility study for a community-wide biomass and electricity powered district heating system (DHS) in collaboration with the Town.

The DHS could eventually connect to more than 90% of the buildings in the Town of New Glasgow and would be owned by the community, providing affordable, reliable, low carbon heat while supporting a vibrant rural economy.

Biomass district heat is a proven approach to decarbonization that could put residents of New Glasgow in control of their energy future and reduce energy poverty.

Development of a biomass DHS in New Glasgow would aim to:

  • Reduce and stabilize energy prices
  • Increase regional economic activity
  • Improve energy security
  • Increase energy system resilience
  • Improve management of Acadian forests



"District energy systems are proven to provide significant local economic and community resiliency benefits and we are eager to work with the Town of New Glasgow to design a system that maximizes these benefits for New Glaswegians."    Jamie Stephen, Managing Director, TorchLight Bioresources

"By building a district energy system, we are delivering on our commitment to delivering clean, affordable energy to Canadians, while supporting good jobs in Nova Scotia's sustainable forestry sector.” The Honourable Sean Fraser, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, and Member of Parliament for Central Nova

"Transforming the way communities produce and use energy is key to building a prosperous economy that is aligned with our climate objectives. [This project] represents our government’s commitment to collaborating with and investing in communities in pursuit of these goals."      The Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Natural Resources

"Decarbonizing heating is essential to reducing greenhouse gas emissions. This project is an exciting opportunity to explore a low carbon pathway for community heating, and to meaningfully address energy poverty through a reliable pricing model."    Nancy Dicks, Mayor, Town of New Glasgow

News & updates

Stage 1 of the Feasibility Study for a New Glasgow-Wide Biomass District Heating System is complete!

A summary of key findings, recommendations, and next steps can be found here.

A summary of results from the online surveys of social perceptions and acceptance of bioenergy and forest management can be found here.



Collaborators will work together with you, the community, to design a heating system that is affordable, reliable, efficient and supports the local economy while also reducing emissions.

As project manager, TorchLight will coordinate all activities, lead community engagements and develop the Masterplan.

Read more

Rathco ENG will lead the engineering design and costing for the district energy network and provide technical input for the Masterplan.

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The Town will support TorchLight and Rathco in the completion of the study and will ensure the plan meets the needs of the community.

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Forestry Advisors

Our forestry advisors will provide recommendations on biomass sourcing and forest management.

The FNSWO will engage with local private woodlot owners to help us understand where biomass might come from and them understand how biomass fits within their sustainable forest management plans.

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ACFOR will provide guidance on active forest management in the Acadian forest and advice on biomass supply for the district energy system.

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This project is made possible with funding from the Government of Canada.