March 19, 2007

Calgary ready to start district energy project with CAMRIF support

CALGARY, ALTA-Funding from three levels of government will make Calgary's $31.8-million Downtown District Energy project a reality. The new energy-efficient power system is being supported through the Canada-Alberta Municipal Rural Infrastructure Fund (CAMRIF). Through CAMRIF, the federal and provincial governments will contribute $20 million ($10 million each, pending environmental assessment), and the city of Calgary $11.8 million. The CAMRIF funding will enable the city to proceed immediately with Phase I, involving the development of a combined heat and power (CHP) district energy system in Calgary's downtown core. Heat recovered from natural gas-fired engines will be distributed to multiple buildings through a network of underground insulated piping in order to drive generators, thereby providing electricity. The second phase of the project will involve a CHP co-generation energy plant located further from the city centre. Completion of Phase II is expected by 2010. Calgary District Energy will be owned by the city, with Enmax-a wholly-owned subsidiary of the city-developing and operating the thermal and co-generation plants and thermal distribution system. The location and positioning of the downtown district energy plant and distribution system will be designed to service current municipally-owned buildings and selected future downtown buildings. The use of medium- to low-temperature district energy system technology is not widely used in downtown areas of major Canadian cities. This project will make Calgary a western Canadian leader in the use of this technology.

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