What is it?
The community energy system delivers hot water from a central source through insulated underground pipes to heat buildings. Natural gas will be used as the fuel to heat the water.
The Community Energy Centre is the building where the boilers and other system equipment are located.
How the system works
From the Energy Centre, hot water is delivered through underground pipes to heat buildings from one source. Each building connected to the system receives the energy through an energy transfer station technically known as a plate heat exchanger.
Buildings served by the Community Energy System
- Strathcona County Hall
- Festival Place
- The Kinsmen Leisure Centre (pool), arena and recreation office
- Buildings being constructed by Christenson Developments in Centre in the Park
In future, it will be possible for other buildings to be connected to the system.
The benefits of community energy systems
- Community energy systems reduce the amount of air pollutants and greenhouse gases
- A centralized system allows for efficient production and distribution of energy
- Customers receive a competitively priced energy service, individual boilers are eliminated, and new technologies can be adopted
- Healthier buildings
- Continued progress toward a sustainable community
- Flexibility to adapt to changing energy opportunities
- Future customer connections
The benefits for Strathcona County
- It's better for the environment. The highly efficient system will reduce 1,000 tonnes of greenhouse gases compared with a conventional system.
- It's more efficient. The boilers in the Energy Centre are high-efficiency units that use the latest technology.
- The total number of boilers is also reduced, with central boilers replacing individual ones in each building on the system.
- Savings in energy and long-term cost. Strathcona County is committed to using energy wisely and building a sustainable community.
- Taxpayers will also benefit. Strathcona County will operate the Community Energy System as a utility. This means all costs will be paid by user fees. No tax dollars will be required to build or operate the system.
While the community energy system is new to Strathcona County, similar systems are operating successfully in many communities and elsewhere in the region; for example:
- Hamilton, Ontario
- Revelstoke, British Columbia
- Markham, Ontario
- the Alberta Legislature
- the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT)
- the University of Alberta
- the Glenrose and Royal Alexandra Hospitals
For more information