Canadian Biomass Magazine

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Corix and SFU to build energy plant on Burnaby Mountain

July 12, 2016 – Corix Multi-Utility Services Inc. has signed an agreement with Simon Fraser University (SFU) to expand the existing district energy utility and move forward with a proposed Central Energy Plant on Burnaby Mountain in B.C.


July 12, 2016
By Corix

The plant will be developed in partnership with both SFU and the SFU Community Trust, and will provide SFU and the UniverCity community with green, thermal energy.

“We are both excited and proud to be partnering with SFU and the SFU Community Trust on the proposed Central Energy Plant,” said Eric van Roon, Corix’s senior vice-president for Canadian utilities. “The new facility is an example of how Corix can provide solutions to address community energy needs while meeting environmental objectives. In this case, we will achieve both through the implementation of a district energy system using renewable energy sources.”

The district energy system will produce energy using locally sourced biomass that would otherwise be destined for local landfills. It could include urban wood waste (from tree cuttings and trimmings), uncontaminated wood waste (such as wood chips from sawmills and shavings), and clean construction wood waste.

Using biomass in a district energy system is expected to bring significant benefits to SFU, Burnaby Mountain and the City of Burnaby, including:

  • A sustainable energy supply for more than 40,000 people on Burnaby Mountain;
  • Greenhouse gas reductions at the campus (by 85 per cent), overall at SFU (by 69 per cent) and for the City of Burnaby (helping the city meet its GHG reduction targets of five per cent per year);
  • Improved 24/7 service reliability to UniverCity customers by reducing exposure to loss of heating due to power outages caused by storms;
  • Cost savings from creating one combined facility for both the campus and UniverCity; and
  • Up to 80 short-term, local jobs during the design and construction phase of the project.

“The proposed Central Energy Plant is another example of SFU Community Trust partnering with SFU and industry leaders to help deliver low-carbon sustainable homes and a high level of comfort and convenience at UniverCity,” said Dale Mikkelsen, the Trust’s development director. “The combination of long-term environmental and economic benefits for UniverCity residents will provide benefit to UniverCity residents while significantly reducing greenhouse gas emissions on Burnaby Mountain.”

With the agreement now signed, the next steps for the project will be public consultation, which is expected to begin this fall. The results of those efforts will feed into the required municipal and provincial regulatory processes. If all approvals are received in 2017, construction could begin early in 2018, which would allow the facility to be operational by early 2019.

“This biomass facility is another example of SFU’s commitment to sustainability, which is a key principle of our strategic vision,” said SFU president Andrew Petter. “In recent years, SFU has taken significant action to decrease our carbon footprint, reduce waste, and implement a range of other sustainability measures.”

About Corix
The Corix Group of Companies is a leading provider of sustainable utility infrastructure solutions across North America. Corix delivers these solutions through four distinct but complementary lines of business: Regulated Utilities, Contract Utilities, Utility Services, and Utility Products. The Corix team has more than 2,100 employees operating in 27 states and seven provinces in the United States and Canada. Corix is privately held, with BC Investment Management Corporation as its primary shareholder. Visit www.corix.com for more information.