City of New Westminster Explores District Energy System in Sapperton
New Westminster, BC – The City of New Westminster’s commitment to environmental efforts continue, as Council has passed a motion to explore opportunities for developing a District Energy System in the Sapperton area. Working collaboratively with the Fraser Health Authority and Metro Vancouver, the proposed system would provide low-emissions heating for larger buildings and developments in the Sapperton area using renewable energy resources.
“The City currently has policies that support the development of clean, low-emission renewable energy systems. These include the Official Community Plan, the Community Energy and Emissions Plan and Envision 2032, the City’s sustainability framework,” said Mayor Wayne Wright. “Exploring district energy is another step in the right direction for the City.”
Implementation of a district energy system would help the City:
- Reduce our reliance on fossil fuels for heating buildings
- Significantly reduce GHG emissions and help to achieve our emission targets
- Provide an opportunity for the City’s Electrical Utility to diversify its energy services, while providing a modest source of revenue over the long term
- Promote more comfortable buildings by using hot water for space heating
- Improve community energy resilience, keeping heating costs low for system users
Two locations are being considered for the system’s energy centre, one on the Royal Columbian Hospital site and another in the Braid Industrial Area, and two renewable energy options are being considered. Energy option one is wood chip combustion, in which high-efficiency boilers use wood chips as fuel to produce hot water. Energy option two is sewer heat recovery, in which heat is extracted from Metro Vancouver’s nearby main sewer line using heat pumps. Both of these options are clean energy resources, and are not to be confused with waste-to-energy systems which are large plants that produce heat or electricity from the combustion of materials gathered from the regional waste stream (i.e. garbage).
The City will be starting a public consultation process to inform the community on opportunities for a district energy system in Sapperton and to gather feedback from area residents, businesses and other stakeholders. Dates for meetings are pending.