In 2011 the City created Guelph Municipal Holdings Inc. (GMHI), with a broad mandate that included the development of business units to implement the Community Energy Initiative (CEI). One of these units, Envida Community Energy, assumed responsibility for building a portfolio of community energy assets.
In 2013 the City and Envida jointly developed the District Energy (DE) Strategic Plan. This document defined a strategy to build a city-wide thermal energy distribution network serving 50% of space heating and domestic hot water needs by 2041. Two District Energy nodes were launched, one in the Hanlon Creek Business Park and another in the downtown core. In July 2016 Council directed GMHI to halt further development of these District Energy systems.
The Community Energy Initiative update of May 2018 did not identify District Energy (DE) as one of the top priority technical actions. However, significant time, effort, and capital was invested in District Energy over the Community Energy Initiative’s first ten years. Because District Energy involves an extremely long-term development horizon, it is important to capture the lessons learned from this experience and document them. It is similarly important to know whether District Energy must be included in the mix of measures necessary to achieve the updated Community Energy Initiative goal of Net Zero Carbon by 2050, and if so, how to implement it. The Community Energy Initiative update proposed to convene a team to address District Energy, with representation as follows:
- City of Guelph Facilities Management
- Current customers of the Galt and/or Hanlon Creek District Energy systems
- District Energy subject matter experts (design, installation, and operation)
- Guelph Downtown Business Association
- Guelph Chamber of Commerce
For more information
Alex Chapman, Manager, Climate Change Office
519-822-1260 extension 3324