‘A complete circle’: Prince George proves district energy can work in Canada

‘A complete circle’: Prince George proves district energy can work in Canada

For years now, members of the Canadian biomass industry have been pointing to Europe as an example of successfully using district energy systems as a renewable, low-carbon way to heat buildings, and even entire cities. Yet Canada still relies heavily on individual heating systems for buildings, usually burning natural gas.

But, the City of Prince George is proving that district energy systems running off of renewable resources can work in Canada – and even be more efficient than natural gas. In January 2020, the city’s Downtown Renewable Energy System successfully operated with 100 per cent biomass, despite temperatures reaching a record-breaking -42 C.

The system, which provides hot water heating to 11 municipal and provincial buildings, has been operating since 2012, William Wedel, utilities manager for the City of Prince George, explains. That’s when the city contracted with nearby Lakeland Mills to provide heat from their boiler to the system.

The agreement came about when Lakeland Mills was in the midst of rebuilding after the dust explosion in April 2012. As part of the arrangement, Lakeland Mills received an electrostatic precipitator from the city. The precipitator removes 95-98 per cent of all the particulate matter that comes off the mill’s burner, which helped improve downtown air quality.

Today, Lakeland Mills’ boiler can produce up to 13 megawatts (MW) of heat using sawmill residuals. Although the city’s contract with the mill stipulates providing up to five MW of heat per day, the system has only used 2.5 MW per day at most, Wedel says.

Inside the system
To set up the system, the city worked with a consultant, FVB Energy…

Full News Article at : canadianbiomassmagazine.ca

BC Energy Step Code

FVB Energy recently evaluated the impacts of the BC Energy Step Code on the OVDEU, including impacts to overall system demand, distribution piping costs, and Business-as-Usual costs for several Step Code implementation scenarios.

The Oval Village District Energy Utility (OVDEU) is an innovative district energy system which currently uses two Central Heating Plants (11 MW capacity) to provide heating and domestic hot water. As the City of Richmond begins to implement the BC Energy Step Code, system changes are going to need to be made to account for the reduced energy demand. FVB Energy was successful in providing the following:

  • Updating Demand Forecast for OVDEU Extension and Expansion
  • High Level DPS and EC costs
  • Updated BAU Analysis
  • Review and Comment on the Capital and O&M Costs based on 4 Sensitivity Scenarios

Government of Canada invests in cleaner energy system for the National Capital Region

The Federal Government has announced the next phase in making the National Capital Region a leader in green energy: a $1.1 billion private-public partnership to modernize – design, construct, maintain & operate – the heating and cooling system, with a goal to reduce emissions by 40% by 2030.

We would like to congratulate Innovate Energy (ENGIE Services Canada, PCL Constructors Canada, PCL Investments Canada, Black & McDonald, Black & McDonald Capital) who has been awarded this contract. All of us at FVB Energy look forward to working with the Project team and Innovate Energy on this exciting next chapter!


Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup

Nothing says style like a good raincoat! FVB’s Vancouver team shook off the rain last week to cleanup the shoreline by the office.

To find out more about the Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup and how you can help FVB, OceanWise & WWF, visit https://www.shorelinecleanup.ca/


The University of Toronto Mississauga Chilled Water CUP Upgrade

FVB Energy has successfully completed a 3,000 ton chilled water plant upgrade at the University of Toronto Mississauga campus. The project upgraded and replaced both the CUP chilled water plant primary (grouped chilled water pumps) and secondary pumping systems (distribution pumps), as well as upsizing the headers to accommodate up to 4,000 tons.


Dalhousie University – Agricultural Campus

FVB was retained by Dalhousie University to advise on the most economical and sustainable option for executing on their community feed in tariff (COMFIT) contract while simultaneously designing the renewal of their existing biomass steam Energy Centre which had reached end of life.


FVB Energy Inc takes action to strengthen its position in the North American market

FVB Energy Inc (Canada) and FVB Energy Inc (US) are pleased to announce the combining of the operations of both firms to provide strengthened resources for Canada and the United States district energy market. Leif Breitholtz, Chairman of the Board, says “This move will provide more resources for both countries and will enable FVB to serve its district energy clients even better than before.”

Towards this end, FVB has appointed Richard Damecour, President and CEO; Robert Doyle, COO and Karl Marietta, Vice President for the combined management team. Mark Spurr has been named Principal of the combined FVB firms.

Richard Damecour says “The two firms have always worked together but this move will greatly increase the harmony between the two staffs. We look forward to the sharing of experience from the US and Canada to the benefit of all our clients”.

In addition to these changes, Karl Marietta will be relocating from the FVB Vancouver office to the Minneapolis office to take a similar role while David Trigg will be taking over Karl’s duties in Vancouver. This move brings Karl back to his roots – “I will be returning to the office where I started with FVB so for me it is kind of a coming home”.

FVB Down Under! – District Energy in Barangaroo

When the engineers at a large Australian development and engineering firm, needed an expert opinion for the design of a large District Energy Plant serving Sydney’s central business district’s new  development – Barangaroo South, they turned to FVB Energy as an international district energy expert to conduct a peer review of the design. The objective of the review was to advise on whether the design could exceed international district energy industry best practices, particularly for efficiency, reliability and ease of operation and maintenance, and suggestions that would further improve expected performance.
The Barangaroo development is a new commercial district comprising of:
* 275,000 m2 of new high and low rise commercial office space,
* 25,000 m2 of mixed use retail, fast food and restaurants,
* 30,000 m2 of hotels and apartments,
* 140,000 m2of high and low rise apartments,
* 60,000 m2 of basement car park, docks and plant areas.

FVB is proud to have been part of this community development project that puts sustainability first.  Barangaroo’s District Energy System will primarily be cooled by sea water from the Sydney Harbour, reducing their electrical demand and reducing the greenhouse gas emissions.