City unveils new $4.8-million geothermal system
Published: September 07, 2012 7:00 AM
Updated: September 07, 2012 4:56 PM
City officials cut the ribbon Thursday on Richmond’s first district energy utility, which will harness geothermal energy to heat and cool more than 500 homes in its first phase.
The new $4.8-million utility is powering apartments in the city’s redeveloping West Cambie neighbourhood of Alexandra.
“Richmond is committed to being a sustainable community and that requires finding new ways to meet our energy needs, while also reducing our greenhouse gas emissions,” said Mayor Malcolm Brodie, in a news release.
The city owns and operates the Odlin Road facility, which is set to offer energy to three major new housing developments in the area.
The utility is already supplying the energy that will be needed to heat and cool the new Remy and Mayfair developments, which, when occupied, will include more than 500 new homes and a major new daycare.
Construction is expected to begin soon on the new Omega development, which will also be a client of the new utility. The utility is designed to be expanded as needed to service other clients in the neighbourhood.
The facility costs $80,000 to operate annually at full capacity. According to the city, this cost—along with the construction cost—will be recovered over time through user rates, making the utility self-financing.
This utility uses technology to extract heat from the ground through an underground network of vertical pipe loops and more than 350 wells. Water is pumped though this network where it’s naturally heated by the earth. The water is then re-circulated into the utility, where pumps distribute it to heat exchangers inside the residential buildings.
At full capacity, the utility will avoid the production of 200 to 600 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions, according to the city.
Officials are now looking at developing more district energy utilities for redeveloping areas of City Centre. Such projects aim to make a dent in city council’s goals of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 33 per cent by 2020, and by 80 per cent by 2050 from 2007 levels.
Why stop here?
Why not make a landing pad for Santa Claus ?
My point ?….there is more credibility re: Santa than this “Go Green” GAIA Cult that Richmond Council has joined, and de – facto made all Richmond citizens join, via the umbilical chord to O-U-R tax dollars .
Local Gov’t should be a very lean operation, focus on the basics,PERIOD…. it should not obligate its citizens in such tangential endeavours, as it is increasingly clear that any half – assed “feel good” idea whispered into Councils’ ear will get approved.
This Council clearly doesn’t give a shite about what they impose on current and future generations….most of them are over 60 years old and will be retired soon (= Prime Suckers and Puppetts for influence )?
If the City wanted the cheapest method to reduce GreenHouse Gases(GHG’s)…it wouldn’t rubber stamp so many development projects. aka STOP building condos nobody lives in. Several posts ago, I noted what each loaded cement truck represented insofar as GHG produced in cement production…it was several tons of GHG.
This is just a silly exercise that does not stand test of scrutiny simply at face value.
The West Cambie area developers have no choice but to hook up to the City – Owned system.
Further to this, it appears that future developments in the City will also have similar City run “district energy utilities “
QUOTE: “Officials are now looking at developing more district energy utilities for redeveloping areas of City Centre.”
Also, if one digs into the documentation of this geothermal system , one sees a private company,which is a subsidiary of a major developer whose own development was one of the first to hook up to this City owned utility. So, at the surface, this developer has a bit of a conflict, ……are they whispering in the ear of the City to foster some sort of agenda they may directly benefit from ?
If it is such a dam good idea, let the private sector take charge and all the risk.
Finally even if this venture succeeds as a profit making venture for the City….what benefit is it for the general citizens ? I highly doubt this “bounty” will reduce taxes…it will simply be pissed away on higher salaries, more bureaucractic empires, and more and more frivolous endeavours. Those suckers that buy into such projects run by the City utility will simply become future victims of revenue extortion…aka the City will raise rates as it pursues more revenue grabs.