Canadian Biomass Magazine

New Westminster, Metro Vancouver collaborate on Sapperton District Energy System

March 25, 2022
By Metro Vancouver

Plans for the Sapperton District Energy System are heating up thanks to a new green collaboration between the City of New Westminster and Metro Vancouver Regional District.

“The Sapperton district energy project will provide its users with secure and affordable energy to meet future needs, while also addressing climate change,” said City of New Westminster Mayor Jonathan Coté. “Sewer heat recovery allows us to tap into a previously unutilized renewable energy source, while reducing greenhouse gas emissions. We’re pleased to be partnering with Metro Vancouver to move this project forward.”

“Metro Vancouver is committed to fighting climate change by leveraging our sewer infrastructure to support sustainable district energy projects,” said Sav Dhaliwal, chair of Metro Vancouver’s Board of Directors. “We are excited to partner with the City of New Westminster to pursue cost-effective energy options, lower emissions and create energy efficient communities.”

The Sapperton District Energy System is planned to provide affordable, low-carbon energy for new development around the Sapperton and Braid SkyTrain stations and along East Columbia Street, as well as the Royal Columbian Hospital expansion. The system will recover heat from the sewer system and channel it through a network of pipes to provide space and water heating for homes and businesses. The system will reduce carbon dioxide-equivalent greenhouse gas emissions by approximately 8,600 tonnes per year compared to existing, conventional heating sources, and over the course of its lifespan would reduce emissions by over 125,000 tonnes. The project supports Metro Vancouver’s climate action goals, the City’s Environmental Strategy and Action Plan, and Council’s seven bold steps to address climate change.

Metro Vancouver has committed up to $18 million in funding for the Sapperton District Energy System, and is actively exploring future opportunities to support a number of similar projects around the region.

New Westminster Council recently gave first reading to a new District Energy Bylaw, which will enable implementation of the Sapperton project. Further funding from other orders of government is being sought to allow the project to proceed. The City and Fraser Health are also working to confirm participation of Royal Columbian Hospital as the major user of the new system.

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