Ontario Construction News staff writer
Enwave Energy Corporation broke ground May 9 on a new low-carbon heating facility at the Pearl Street Energy Centre in downtown Toronto.
The milestone expansion and renewal project will enable Enwave to provide low-carbon heat to Toronto’s energy grid.
Enwave’s new low-carbon heating facility is expected to be a “game changer” for buildings looking to meet Toronto Green Standards as well as Zero Carbon Building certifications from the Canadian Green Building Council. The facility is expected to provide enough low-carbon heating to reduce emissions in Toronto by approximately 11,600 tCO2e, which is the equivalent of converting over 10 million square feet of office space to net zero.
“The addition of a low carbon heating facility to our Pearl Street Energy Centre is a significant milestone for us and Toronto’s district energy grid, because it allows us to provide decarbonization at scale,” said Carlyle Coutinho, CEO of Enwave Energy Corporation. “As leaders in the energy transition, we are always looking at innovative ways to expand our positive impact and serve even more of Ontario’s residents, institutions, and businesses.
“Adding this state-of the-art heat pump facility to provide ‘Green Heat’ demonstrates our commitment to this city and province, the development community, and our stakeholders.”
New equipment will allow Enwave to recycle district waste heat to produce hot water via electrification using dual-use heat pumps, electric feeds, and generators. This technology is optimized due to the scale and magnitude of buildings connected to Enwave’s heating and cooling district.
“Buildings in Toronto generate more than half of our city’s greenhouse gas emissions. New technologies, like Enwave’s expanded heat delivery system, will play a critical role in the reduction of our cumulative carbon footprint,” said Toronto Deputy Mayor Jennifer McKelvie. “The City of Toronto is proud to partner with Enwave to help fulfill our TransformTO Net Zero Strategy and reach net zero by 2040.”
The groundbreaking also marks the start of Enwave’s low carbon energy transition plans in Ontario and work to build out new district systems that utilize other sustainable technologies and sources, such as wastewater heat recovery and geoexchange, to service large scale communities in the GTA.
“Our government is building an energy system to support our growing population and thriving economy,” said Energy Minister Todd Smith. “I’m pleased to see Enwave doing the same with the expansion of their low-carbon heating facility, which will provide a zero-emissions heating solution for new buildings in Toronto’s downtown core.”
Considering Toronto’s downtown landscape was critical for the design of the new three-storey low-carbon heating facility. At street level, bold graphics and educational displays will articulate Enwave’s vision for efficient, affordable low-carbon energy delivery, and their commitment to net zero. There will also be select glazed areas of the building to display the latest equipment at work.
Enwave will also update a 60-year-old building at 120 Pearl Street with a complete recladding of the façade, using modern materials such as black metal, aluminum, and windows with a frittered glass pattern.
The Pearl Street Energy Centre expansion and renewal project received a grant from Canada’s low carbon economy fund, champions stream and a $600 million loan from the Canada Infrastructure Bank (CIB).
“District energy projects align with our priority to invest in clean energy infrastructure which reduce greenhouse gas emissions,” said Ehren Cory, CEO, Canada Infrastructure Bank. “As world leaders focus on global climate action, our innovative investment is a tremendous opportunity to make urban communities greener and more sustainable.
“The district energy projects will benefit those who live and work in Toronto for generations to come.”