Envida Community Energy Inc. receives 20-year electricity contract from Ontario Power Authority
Guelph, On, April 10, 2014 — A combined heat and power (CHP or cogeneration) facility planned for Guelph’s Hanlon Creek Business Park will play an important role in meeting the city’s future energy needs while reducing the environmental impact of power generation.
As part of its award-winning Community Energy Initiative, Guelph hopes to use cogeneration systems to provide at least 30 per cent of the city’s anticipated total electricity requirements—about 100 megawatts—by the year 2031.
Smaller, local energy systems, including cogeneration systems, directly address a number of our community’s priorities—increasing energy efficiency, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, strengthening the resiliency of the City’s energy infrastructure, improving energy security, growing the local economy, and improving the competitiveness of local industries.
Guelph Municipal Holdings Inc., representing the City of Guelph as shareholder to Guelph Hydro Inc. and its affiliates, is providing leadership in doing business differently by aligning the City’s strategic objectives with the project work of Envida Community Energy.
Over the next two years, Envida Community Energy Inc., a subsidiary of Guelph Hydro Inc., will build the Hanlon Creek Business Park CHP facility that will improve the resiliency of the city’s electricity distribution system, contribute to reduced energy costs for Hanlon Creek businesses, and improve the City’s ability to attract new businesses in Guelph.
The highly efficient, natural gas-fired CHP facility has the capacity to generate 10.2 megawatts of electricity—about four per cent of the entire city’s average demand for electricity.
The electricity will be fed into the provincial grid under a 20-year contract with the Ontario Power Authority (OPA), granted under Ontario’s Combined Heat and Power Standard Offer Program. Ontario’s Minister of Energy Bob Chiarelli, who was in Guelph earlier today promoting local energy projects, announced the OPA contract.
Typically, generating electricity at a large-scale power plant creates a lot of heat, and this heat goes to waste. However, with a CHP facility, such as the one planned for the Hanlon Creek Business Park, waste heat is captured and used to heat water.
Using waste heat for a building’s hot water or space heating lowers fuel and equipment costs, reduces space requirements, lowers building and maintenance costs, and reduces greenhouse gas emissions. The Hanlon Creek district energy system will distribute the hot and chilled water for heating, cooling, and hot water through an underground network of pipes to buildings in the business park.
Currently, temporary district energy systems operating in the business park provide heating and cooling to the buildings owned by Fusion Homes and Würth Canada Limited. Once the CHP facility is constructed, the companies and other Hanlon Creek businesses will be supplied from the new facility.
By simultaneously generating electricity and thermal energy from one fuel source, the facility is expected to result in efficiencies up to or greater than 80 per cent; this is substantially greater than the 30 to 45 per cent efficiencies achieved in conventional electricity generation facilities.
Envida’s first CHP facility is expected to be operational by the end of 2016.
Combined heat and power systems
Combined heat and power systems are commonly found in hospitals, educational institutions, large commercial facilities, government buildings and industries. In Guelph, CHP facilities are in operation at the University of Guelph and West End Community Centre.
The small-scale CHP facility planned for the Hanlon Creek Business Park will be designed to blend in with its surroundings. The facility will consume minimal water resources, produce zero effluents, and generate noise at about the level of a passing road vehicle while producing less greenhouse gas emissions than would be produced if all the buildings connected to the system operated their own chillers and boilers.
Prior to construction, all mandatory environmental, safety and municipal approval requirements and permits will be obtained.
In 2013, Envida began construction on Guelph’s district energy system, which has a large role to play in achieving the energy and emission reduction targets set out in the Community Energy Initiative.
Since December, the thermal energy plant at the Sleeman Centre—the city’s premier sports and entertainment venue—has been providing heating and cooling to the building. Eventually, the River Run Centre and nearby residential development in the downtown core will also be supplied with heating and cooling.
Envida earns revenue by selling electricity generated by its rooftop solar facility and the Eastview biogas plant, and by selling thermal energy from its district energy systems.
Envida invests its revenue in local district energy infrastructure such as cogeneration systems. Customers connected to the system benefit from low-cost heating and cooling services. Typically, district energy projects have a payback period of eight to 12 years.
“The approval of the Hanlon Creek CHP project is a significant milestone in advancing Guelph’s goals of achieving a reliable, secure, sustainable and affordable energy future for residents and businesses. It gives Guelph a competitive edge in retaining and attracting investment and creating jobs.”
— Guelph Mayor Karen Farbridge
“Combined heat and power facilities offer tremendous economic and environmental benefits to direct users of the system, the local community and society as a whole.”
— Barry Chuddy, Chief Executive Officer, Guelph Hydro Inc.
“I firmly believe that smart energy planning, as demonstrated by the development of a combined heat and power and district energy system in the Hanlon Creek Business Park, must be the foundation on which we build Guelph’s future economic growth.”
— Lloyd Longfield, President and CEO, Guelph Chamber of Commerce
“Würth Canada is excited to be moving its head offices to Guelph’s Hanlon Creek Business Park. Reliable and economical thermal energy services, supported by this combined heat and power facility, demonstrates the City’s continuing commitment to supporting the success of local business.”
— Ernie Sweeney, President and CEO, Würth Canada
About the City of Guelph
Located about 100 kilometres west of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, Guelph is a growing, diverse and vibrant community of more than 120,000 people. Guelph’s community partners and business leaders are making a difference locally and globally in agri-food, technology, environmental enterprise and advanced manufacturing industries. The city’s healthy local economy, thriving arts and culture scene, charming neighbourhoods, parks and green spaces make Guelph among the most livable cities in Canada.
About Guelph’s Community Energy Initiative
Guelph is creating a healthy, reliable and sustainable energy future by improving how Guelph uses and manages energy and water resources. In partnership with the City of Guelph, Guelph Hydro Inc. and its subsidiary Envida Community Energy Inc. are working together to ensure Guelph uses 50 per cent less energy in 2031 than we did in 2006, consumes less energy per capita than comparable Canadian cities, and produces less greenhouse gas per capita than the current global average.
About Hanlon Creek Business Park
The 675-acre Hanlon Creek Business Park is a prime business location in Guelph’s south end. Phase 1 and 2 of this development is fully graded, serviced and ready for development. The Hanlon Creek Business Park is an important tool that will continue to support the strategic directions contained in the City’s Economic Development and Tourism Strategy—Prosperity 2020.
About Envida Community Energy Inc.
Owned by Guelph Hydro Inc., Envida Community Energy is the primary implementer and key developer of high-efficiency, low-carbon energy projects that are assisting the City of Guelph in achieving targets set out in the Guelph Community Energy Initiative while facilitating economic development in the community. The company operates a 100-kilowatt solar facility, the Eastview Biogas Plant and a district energy facility in the Sleeman Centre in Guelph.
Hanlon Creek Business Park Combined Heat and Power Facility
The CHP facility in the Hanlon Creek Business Park will be owned and operated by Envida Community Energy Inc., a subsidiary of Guelph Hydro Inc. Guelph Hydro Inc. is 100 per cent owned by Guelph Municipal Holdings Inc, which is, in turn, 100 per cent owned by the City of Guelph. Guelph Hydro Electric Systems Inc., a sister company to Envida Community Energy provides electricity distribution services to Guelph and Rockwood.