Bioenergy projects approved for Interior

BC Hydro has approved $300 million in bioenergy projects in the Interior and north-central B.C., regions hard hit by the mountain pine beetle epidemic and the U.S. housing collapse.

The projects will help better utilize the abundant waste wood in the areas, B.C. Energy and Mines Minister Rich Coleman said Thursday. The four projects will also help generate economic activity and jobs, he said in an interview.

"I believe we have a huge bioenergy future in these regions," said Coleman, noting that there is also deteriorating old-growth timber in northwest B.C. that can be tapped for bioenergy.