Vancouver continues to nurture district heating initiatives

Vancouver, Canada is set to add to its portfolio of centralised heat delivery systems for densely populated neighbourhoods.

Some areas, including the Olympic Village in Southeast False Creek and the downtown core, are already served by central systems that function as autonomous utilities delivering heat and hot water to nearby customers.
Vancouver is planning to expand one of its utilities eastward onto Great Northern Way and the southern portion of False Creek flats in the city, while private-sector systems are emerging in Northeast False Creek and the River District along the Fraser River.

The city’s efforts are driven by a commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 120,000 tonnes per year by 2020 ࢀ” and statistics indicate that buildings represent one of the most attainable sectors for reductions, reports the Vancouver Sun.

“Energy used by buildings generates 55 per cent of Vancouver’s total greenhouse gas emissions,” according to a report received by council earlier this month.

The plan includes discussions aimed at adapting the existing steam heat plants at Vancouver General Hospital and Shaughnessy Hospital to support residential development on the Broadway and Cambie corridors.

According to city councillor Raymond Louie, shifting buildings from individual systems to centralized delivery of heat and hot water also means lower overhead for building operators and tenants.

“This helps on a number of fronts, for the business community more specifically because you are lowering your operating costs. You are providing greater stability and confidence on what your energy costs will be moving forward, so you’ll always have a cost-competitive advantage.

Vancouver is one of several cities in British Columbia embracing central heat systems as a means of reducing energy costs and greenhouse gas emissions. Across Canada, there are more than 120 cities with district energy systems.

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