Downtown district energy system sold to community energy innovator

Guelph, Ont., June 27, 2022 — Guelph Municipal Holdings Inc. (GMHI) has sold the downtown district energy (DE) system to Cascara Energy.

“Finding an operator who wants to expand and invest in the district energy system is the best outcome we could hope for,” notes GMHI chief executive officer, Scott Stewart. “Cascara has been operating the district energy system for over a year and has improved service delivery for customers which tells us we’ve sold this asset to the right people.”

The downtown DE system provides heating and cooling to the Sleeman Centre and River Mill Condominiums.

“Transitioning from operator to owner was our vision, and we are thrilled to see this vision become a reality,” shares Robert Croghan, Cascara’s chief executive officer. “We look forward to continuing to provide excellent service and grow our customer base in an effort to support the City with its decarbonization objectives.”

System sale supports Guelph’s long-term climate mitigation and renewable energy goals

Finding a partner who can expand and invest in the existing district energy system is aligned with the Council-endorsed 100 per cent renewable energy and net zero carbon energy targets for the City of Guelph and the Guelph community. These ambitious targets support the Guelph community’s value for environmental stewardship and the City’s Guelph. Future Ready priority of Sustaining our Future. Cascara’s investment in district energy also supports Guelph’s participation in the UN Cities Race to Zero initiative.

“The sale of the downtown district energy system to a company in this sector is a tangible way Guelph is moving forward on its environmental and climate goals. Reviewing assets such as this has brought about a positive outcome for our community both environmentally and financially and I’m very pleased,” says Mayor Cam Guthrie.


In 2015, two years after the district energy system launched, the City learned it was not achieving expected environmental and revenue-generating benefits and Council directed a third-party review of the asset. After careful consideration and with fiscal responsibility in mind, Council voted to continue operating the district energy system in the downtown and consider opportunities for growth in the future. In 2019, following the merger of Guelph Hydro with Alectra, GMHI retained the district energy assets and Council directed staff to pursue the possible sale of the downtown system. GMHI issued a call for expressions of interest and request for proposal to purchase the system and Cascara Energy was the successful proponent. In 2020, the Hanlon Creek Business Park district energy system was decommissioned and the energy assets were sold.

About Cascara Energy

Cascara Energy’s vision is to provide an affordable and sustainable utility-scale system. Cascara is a new, competitive utility that accelerates communities on their path to net-zero. We build next generation district energy networks by integrating renewable distributed energy resources thus creating a circular economy for recycling heat. Our systems localize the renewable energy value chain, stabilize energy prices and improve energy reliability. The City of Guelph will be Cascara’s global showcase for district energy innovation.

Cascara was recently recognized as one of five top global startups enabling energy sharing.

For more information

Robert Croghan, CEO
Cascara Energy
[email protected]

Antti Vilkko, General Manager, Facilities and Energy Management
Infrastructure, Development and Enterprise Services
City of Guelph
519-822-1260 extension 2490
[email protected]