New system delivers energy savings and reduces greenhouse gas emissions
by up to 70 per cent
SURREY, BC, Oct. 1, 2012 /CNW/ - FortisBC has broken ground to build
systems that will allow the delivery of thermal energy to 19
educational buildings in School District 37 Delta School District.
The $6.4 million investment into the thermal energy production
facilities was developed between FortisBC, the Delta School District
and the B.C. Ministry of Environment with the goal of delivering
efficient thermal energy (cooling and heating) to the buildings within
Delta School District. The facilities will use geoexchange systems and
high efficiency natural gas boilers.
"At the Delta School District, we respect the environment and work hard
to lower our carbon footprint," said Dale Saip, Board chair with the
Delta School District. "For many years, we have taken a proactive role
in environmental stewardship."
The FortisBC project will have a significant impact on lowering both
energy consumption and carbon emissions of the Delta School District.
An estimated 45 per cent reduction in energy usage, equivalent to
enough natural gas to heat about 365 homes for one year. Greenhouse gas
emissions in the Delta School District are expected to drop by 69 per
cent as a result of this initiative; this is equivalent to the removal
of almost 450 cars from the road annually.
In addition to the environmental benefits, the project is expected to
save the Delta School District significant money. The province's
mandate that all public sector organizations be carbon neutral has
resulted in the school district having to purchase carbon offsets to
the tune of $100,000 a year. The FortisBC project will eliminate the
need to purchase these offsets. These savings, combined with
substantial cost savings from reduced natural gas usage, means the
Delta School District expects to save $180,000 a year through this
initiative. Not only will this free up funds for education but it will
be an incredible learning opportunity for the students.
A grant through the Public Sector Energy Conservation Agreement (PSECA)
provided assistance to the Delta School District project with an
investment of $1.4 million.
"British Columbia's green economy is introducing innovations that are
good for our planet and for our economic future. This thermal energy
project is an excellent example of how the B.C. Government is working
with our partners to foster the innovation we need to keep our province
at the forefront," said John Yap, Minister of Advanced Education,
Innovation and Technology and Minister Responsible for
FortisBC has been working with the Delta School District since 2009 to
develop this energy solution. Earlier this spring, the project received
the green light with the approval of the BC Utilities Commission
(BCUC). FortisBC will build, own and maintain the thermal energy
infrastructure while the Delta School District will pay a BCUC
regulated rate for the thermal energy. The terms also state that
FortisBC will operate and provide all emergency and customer support
for the systems.
"This project marks a win-win for all collaborators by providing
quality, efficient energy and also showing the possibilities of
sustainable thermal energy solutions within British Columbia," said
Doug Stout, vice president of energy solutions and external relations,
Construction of the thermal energy system has begun and should be
operational by 2014. Geoexchange heating and cooling is done through
the use of ground source heat pumps, which work by transferring
underground heat and circulating it through a building. This project
also builds upon efforts by FortisBC and the District to upgrade
natural gas boilers with more modern, high efficiency units. More
specifically, this project includes the replacement of eight
conventional boilers with high efficiency boilers, the conversion of
existing thermal plants to geoexchange systems with peaking gas boilers
at 11 sites, and retrofit/replacement of existing mechanical
infrastructure at all 19 sites to accept the new technologies.
In keeping with its vision of efficient energy, Delta School District
has also taken other steps to make sure the benefits of this new system
will be maximized.
"Facilities are being constructed, renovated and retrofitted with energy
conservation in mind, including solar hot water systems and
state-of-the-art energy consumption monitoring. A number of other
initiatives have also been implemented to do our part in making our
operations more efficient," said Frank Geyer, director of facilities
and planning with the Delta School District.
FortisBC provides energy solutions using district energy and
geoexchange. To find out more, visit fortisbc.com.
FortisBC is a regulated utility focused on providing safe and reliable
energy, including natural gas, electricity, propane and thermal energy
solutions. FortisBC employs more than 2,300 British Columbians and
serves approximately 1.1 million customers in more than 135 B.C.
communities. FortisBC is indirectly wholly owned by Fortis Inc., the
largest investor-owned distribution utility in Canada. FortisBC owns
and operates four regulated hydroelectric generating plants,
approximately 7,000 kilometres of transmission and distribution power
lines and approximately 47,000 kilometres of natural gas transmission
and distribution pipelines. FortisBC Inc., FortisBC Energy Inc.,
FortisBC Energy (Vancouver Island) Inc., and FortisBC Energy (Whistler)
Inc. do business as FortisBC. Fortis Inc. shares are listed on the
Toronto Stock Exchange and trade under the symbol FTS. Additional
information can be accessed at www.fortisinc.com or www.sedar.com.
EDITOR'S NOTE: The media are invited to take a tour of the construction
with representatives from FortisBC and the Delta School District. The
event will take place on October 1, 2012, 11 a.m. at Neilson Grove
Elementary School, 5500 Admiral Boulevard, Delta.
The FortisBC and Delta School District project involves the gradual
replacement of conventional natural gas boilers with a combination of
high efficiency natural gas boilers and ground source heat pumps. The
ground source heat pumps will provide the geoexchange component of the
Delta School District project breakdown
High efficiency boiler upgrades
Annieville Elementary School
Beach Grove Elementary School
Chalmers Elementary School
Cliff Drive Elementary School
Heath Elementary School
Holy Elementary School
Ladner Elementary School
District Operations Centre
Delta Secondary School
Delview Secondary School
English Bluff Elementary School
Neilson Grove Elementary School
North Delta Secondary School
Pinewood Elementary School
Richardson Elementary School
South Delta Secondary School
South Park Elementary School
Board of Education Office
Delta Manor Education Office
For further information:
Manager of Communications
Delta School District
Corporate Communications Advisor