Construction set to begin on new energy centre in Gatineau
By Adam FreillConstruction Green Construction Infrastructure
By 2025, the entire federal district energy system will be modernized to a state-of-the-art low-temperature hot-water system.
The Government of Canada has marked the start of construction of a modernized Gatineau Energy Centre. The centre is part of the Energy Services Acquisition Program (ESAP), a project that will modernize and decarbonize the federal district energy system that provides heating for 80 buildings and cooling for 67 in the National Capital Region (NCR), including the Parliament buildings.
Through a public-private partnership agreement, Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC) is working with Innovate Energy to deliver a district energy system that will help the government meet its goal of reducing the greenhouse gas emissions in its own operations by 40 per cent by 2025.
Construction of the centre, one of four sites that make up the federal district energy system, begins this month and is expected to be completed by March 2025. When operational, the new centre will be carbon neutral and one of the cleanest, most sustainable energy centres of this scale in North America.
By 2025, the entire federal district energy system will be modernized and converted from an energy-intensive and high-polluting steam system to a state-of-the-art low-temperature hot-water system, reducing greenhouse gas emissions from heating and cooling operations by an estimated 92 per cent.
The NCR district energy system consists of five central plants using piping that was built between 50 and 100 years ago. The new centre will leverage Hydro-Québec’s 99 per cent carbon-free grid to become one of the few carbon-neutral heating and cooling plants of this scale in North America.
“The new energy centre will represent a major shift in conventional thinking on how we heat and cool buildings in the National Capital Region,” stated the Honourable Filomena Tassi, Minister of Public Service and Procurement. “Not only will we reduce greenhouse gas emissions from our operations, save hundreds of millions of dollars in heating and cooling costs, and improve safety conditions, the centre has the potential to be a showcase project for other jurisdictions worldwide.”
Once completed in 2025, the modernized system will consist of four energy centres: the new Tunney’s Pasture Energy Centre; the new Cliff Energy Centre at Parliament Hill; the new modernized Gatineau Energy Centre; and the renovated and retrofitted Confederation Heights Energy Centre. The National Research Council facility will be decommissioned.
The contract for the ESAP project was awarded in 2019 to Innovate Energy, a consortium of partners comprised of PCL Construction, ENGIE Services Canada and Black & McDonald, with the participation of bbb architects and WSP.