Idea to re­place log burn­ers, cut smog

Central Otago Mirror - - CROMWELL BUSINESS HUB - RHYS CHAM­BER­LAIN

A small Cen­tral Otago group thinks it has the so­lu­tion to poor air qual­ity and high heat­ing costs by re­plac­ing wood fires with com­mu­nity heat­ing.

At an Otago Re­gional Coun­cil draft an­nual plan hear­ing in Alexandra last month, Rus­sell Gar­butt along with Jono Con­way of Bodeker Sci­en­tific and heat­ing sci­en­tist Geoff Ker­nich out­lined their idea of heat­ing the Alexandra-Clyde basin from a sin­gle source.

The idea was to use a wa­ter­sourced heat pump tech­nol­ogy to ex­tract heat from the Clutha River and dis­trib­ute it to homes in the re­gion, thus negat­ing the need for wood fires.

Ker­nich told of a sim­i­lar sys­tem in Scot­land where enough en­ergy was pro­duced to heat 200 homes.

A ‘‘sim­ple pi­lot project’’ would be the first step and the group asked the coun­cil for $2000 to­wards es­tab­lish­ing the group as a char­i­ta­ble trust.

Con­way said the only way to ‘‘en­joy starry nights and crisp, clear morn­ings’’ was to re­move wood fires.

The costs would be ‘‘sim­i­lar or lower’’ than tra­di­tional heat­ing costs, Con­way said.

Coun­cil­lor Doug Brown said the group’s re­quest for money had been noted and they would re­spond at a later date.

DASHA KUPRIENKO / FAIR­FAX NZ

Con­sta­ble Abby Pagel, of Queen­stown.

ORC’s Doug Brown.

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