Sapperton District Energy System (DES)


Strategic Priority #4: Environmental Leadership

Strategic Priority #6: Catalyst Project


The City of New Westminster is committed to reducing its carbon footprint and being a sustainable community. To introduce a source of clean renewable energy at competitive prices while reducing greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs), the City is investigating the technical and economic feasibility of a neighbourhood-scale energy system serving the Sapperton area. The Sapperton District Energy System would provide clean, renewable energy at competitive prices to the consumer. The expansion of the Royal Columbian Hospital (RCH) campus provides the new system with a large potential customer base and brings with it the added benefit of connecting to other buildings in the heating network over time.


Staff completed a detailed thermal demand forecast for the system in February 2016 to reflect current assumptions on timing of development within the service area. Technical specifications and heating demand and minimum heat delivery requirements for the RCH redevelopment have been analyzed, and the resulting financial analysis and business case was presented to Electric Utility Commission and Council in 2016. Council approved having staff proceed with a detailed design and Class B cost estimate using sewer heat recovery as the energy source. Staff has drafted the Detailed Design RFP, which will be issue once the final location of the DE Centre has been determined and the final business case for investment is approved. A document that describes the Sapperton District Energy System and the environmental and economic benefits for New Westminster is now available for distribution.

Staff has signed a Joint Trench Agreement with FHA for all other utilities around RCH and contracted KWL to design the DES piping (DESP) around RCH in order to be able to install the piping if direction is given to proceed with the system. The DESP will be coordinated alongside the other utilities being constructed as part of the RCH redevelopment.  An updated MOU with Fraser Health Authority is also being prepared, which will lead to a definitive agreement for the purchase of heat energy from the system to service the expanded hospital campus. Metro Vancouver has confirmed their willingness to support this project and a legal agreement to access their sewer heat resource is being discussed. The business case is also being updated to consider impacts of new BC Energy Step Code, floor space projections, construction costs, and commodity prices on financial model and project phasing.



Sapperton District Energy System Proposal and Project Updates Page