Government of Canada and FCM support District Energy System for the City of Prince George (21/05/2014)
Prince George, BC — Bob Zimmer, Member of Parliament for Prince George-Peace River, on behalf of the Honourable Greg Rickford, Canada's Minister of Natural Resources and Minister for the Federal Economic Development Initiative for Northern Ontario, and Susie Gimse, Director, Area C, Squamish Lillooet Regional District, and member of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities' (FCM) national Board of Directors, today highlighted a Green Municipal Fund™ (GMF) loan of $4 million and a grant of $800,000 for the City of Prince George. The city used the $4.8 million for the development of its district energy system (DES). This system produces thermal energy at a central plant and routes it to local buildings in the downtown core for space and domestic hot water heating.
The $4.8 million in funding went towards the DES nearly two years ago, but the official announcement was cancelled in the wake of the Lakeland Mills sawmill explosion. The new announcement date coincides with the week the city is connecting the DES to the Province's Wood Innovation and Design Centre in downtown Prince George.
"The Government of Canada is helping municipalities across the country to achieve their goal of a cleaner and healthier environment for their citizens through the Green Municipal Fund," said MP Zimmer. "Today's announcement is another example of how our government — in partnership with the FCM — is helping communities like Prince George build a stronger community for all of its residents."
"The Green Municipal Fund offers a range of resources and services that specifically address the sustainable community development needs of municipal governments," said Ms. Gimse. "The financing and knowledge provided by the Fund supports the development of communities that are more environmentally, socially and economically sustainable."
Approximately 80 per cent of the energy supplied by the DES is derived from wood residues from Lakeland Mills sawmill, which has provided the DES with heat from biomass since it was commissioned in June 2012. After the accident, Lakeland secured a source of biomass from another site and the DES was not functionally affected by the tragedy. Natural gas boilers provide the system with back-up capacity.
The first phase of the DES included energy transfer stations located inside six public buildings and a distribution system consisting of 4,300 metres of buried supply and return pipe.
When Prince George's new municipal RCMP headquarters opened last month, it was the seventh building to be served by the DES, adding an additional 1,050 metres of distribution piping to the system. The expanded system displaces approximately 36,643 GJ/yr of natural gas while reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 1,868 tonnes per year. Conversion to the DES reduced the city's natural gas consumption by 17,000 gigajoules in 2013-enough energy to heat 110 homes for a year.
"The District Energy System reduces particulate matter in our sensitive air shed and our reliance on fossil fuels. The system also positions Prince George as a leader in bioenergy application, and assists us with the continued revitalization of the city's downtown," said Mayor Shari Green of Prince George. "I would like to thank the Government of Canada and the Federation of Canadian Municipalities for their support."
The Government of Canada endowed the Federation of Canadian Municipalities with $550 million to establish the Green Municipal Fund™. The Fund supports partnerships and leveraging of both public and private-sector funding to reach higher standards of air, water and soil quality, and climate protection.
FCM has been the national voice of municipal governments since 1901. It fosters the development of sustainable communities to improve quality of life by promoting strong, effective, and accountable municipal government.