The Project

Project Overview


First and foremost, this is a community project. If constructed, the heat network would be owned by the community – either the municipality or a community cooperative – and will not move forward with your support.

Ultimately, the aim of the feasibility study is to determine if biomass district energy could reduce heating costs for homes and business in New Glasgow. The study will help the community to understand the economics, decide which areas should be connected, and assess options for biomass sourcing and system ownership.

Biomass district energy is:

LOCAL – Using local biomass fuel means that your Town will not be dependent on imported heating fuels. Instead, the money you spend to heat your home will support your local economy.

AFFORDABLE – Future oil and electricity rates in Nova Scotia are uncertain and expected to rise. Biomass fuel can be secured through long-term contracts, stabilizing and reducing heating costs.

RELIABLE – Existing biomass district energy plants operate with >99% uptime and underground pipes mean that the distribution network is not exposed to the elements, reducing the risk of outages.

CLEAN – Using modern technology, the pollutants released from the bioenergy plant would be about equivalent to one wood stove, reducing air pollution compared to the many oil furnaces replaced.

Early concept of the New Glasgow Community Heat Network

Our team


TorchLight is the project manager and will coordinate all activities as well as lead engagements with stakeholders and the community 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.

Read more

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

Read more

Forestry Advisors


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.

Read more

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

Read more

The Process


2021 – 2022

Secure Funding for a Feasibility Study (complete)

This step has already been completed! With support from the Town of New Glasgow, TorchLight Bioresources led the submission of a successful application to the Government of Canada’s SREP Program (Capacity Building Stream) for a feasibility study for a community-wide district heating network.

Show details

2022 – 2023

Complete Feasibility study (In Progress)

The aim of the feasibility study is ultimately to understand whether or not the project is economically viable for, and desired by, your community. The technology is proven but we need to understand the costs to construct and operate the system in New Glasgow to understand if heat can be delivered to you – the customer – at an affordable price.

Show details

2023 – 2024

secure infrastructure funding

If the community biomass district energy system is shown to be economically viable through the feasibility study, and is desired by the community, the next step is to apply to the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program (ICIP) for capital funding for the first phase of the project.

Show details

2024 – 2027

Construct bioenergy Plant and Zone 1 of heat network

Once infrastructure funding is secured, a final engineered design for phase one will be completed by TorchLight, Rathco and team. Working with local contractors and skilled trades workers, build-out of phase one of the district energy network and biomass heat plant will begin.

Show details

2027 +

Build out network in phases and increase heat plant capacity

The district energy network will be built out in phases over several years according to the Masterplan developed through the feasibility study.

Show details

Take a Survey

Have your voice heard! Tell us what you know and how you feel about bioheat and
district energy in your community, or about how forests in Nova Scotia are managed.