A new high-efficiency heating and cooling system in the Sleeman Centre in downtown Guelph, Ontario, is the first step toward building a city-wide district energy network. Guelph has announced a plan for an interconnected thermal grid to serve industrial, commercial and residential buildings across the city.
The first of many planned district energy facilities began operating just before the New Year at the Sleeman Centre, Guelph’s sports and entertainment venue. The system is owned and operated by Envida Community Energy and will serve as the central heating and cooling plant for the district energy system. The system at the Sleeman Centre uses natural gas to heat water in boilers for space heating, and has a central chilling unit to chill water for cooling.
Later this year, the system will be expanded to heat and cool Guelph’s River Run Centre for the performing arts and other commercial and residential developments in the area. The District Energy Strategic Plan identifies other key locations for district energy nodes across the city including the 675-acre Hanlon Creek Business Park. Guelph’s goal is to use its district energy network to supply at least 50 per cent of the community’s heating needs in the next 30 years.