When the City of North Vancouver started Lonsdale Energy Corporation ten years ago, they became a regional leader in greenhouse gas reductions. Now with six mini-plants, 54 nearby buildings are efficiently served from a range of alternative energy sources, including solar and geothermal.
In its 11th year of operation, the Lonsdale Energy Company, which is wholly owned by the City of North Vancouver, continues to grow.
“In the past 2 years we’ve increased the number of building connected by 50%,” says Ben Themens, Executive Directorof Lonsdale Energy. “We’ve also increased the length of our distribution system by 50%.”
Lonsdale Energy was just commencing its first phase 10 years ago. The very first mini-plant was located under a building across the road from Jack Loucks Court in the Lower Lonsdale area, and was designed to service quite a number of buildings. Since then, additional plants have come online, to service other areas in the city such as the Harbourside neighbourhood south of Marine Drive.
“The mini-plant that services our Marine Drive area is a heating plant with 2 natural gas-fired condensing hot water boilers,” explains Stephan Fevrier, a Mechanical Systems Specialist with Lonsdale Energy.
These boilers heat the water to about 80 degrees Celsius and pump it to an energy transfer station, where it mixes with water heated by other inputs and is pumped to clients.
“The beauty of the district energy is its flexibility regarding the type and location of the energy sources in relation to the customers,” says Fevrier. “For every kilowatt hour of energy that you get from sources such as sewer mains and cooling systems you can displace one kilowatt hour of natural gas and with that the resulting greenhouse gas emissions.”
Other sources include geothermal energy and 120 solar panels on the library rooftop.
“We’re in a position of connecting a lot of buildings without even having to develop more the distribution system,” says Themens. “So I think the rate of growth in the distribution system will slow down in the coming years and we will be just connecting more and more buildings.”
In 10 years, Lonsdale Energy has become a model for district energy in the region and looks poised to continue bringing efficient clean energy to its customers.
Learn more: Lonsdale Energy Corporation