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Open house on district energy system Thursday

The site for an innovative district energy (DE) system for Sapperton will be in the Braid Street industrial area.

The city has chosen to put it at 435 Canfor Ave.

That much has been decided.

What hasn’t been decided is if it will be powered by sewer emissions or wood chips.

It was considered to be included as part of the Royal Columbian Hospital redevelopment but Fraser Health has decided against having it put there.

The health authority, however, will consider tapping into the DE as long as the rate it’s charged isn’t more than what it pays for natural gas now, city planner Mark Allison told council June 9.

However, Allison said the hospital has to pay carbon tax and carbon offsets for its natural gas use which makes using renewable resources economically attractive.

If RCH were to come on board its requirements “would be a sufficient guaranteed heating load to justify the initial capital investment in a DE system,” wrote Allison in his report to council.

He said community and stakeholder surveys showed a preference for sewer heat recovery, but “unfortunately it’s much more expensive than biomass,” said Allison.

The DE would serve RCH, the proposed Sapperton Green development, the Brewery District and the Braid industrial area.

An open house to update the community on the district energy system will be held tomorrow (Thursday, June 19) at Knox Presbyterian Church’s upper hall (403 E. Columbia St.).

It will go from 6 to 8 p.m. including a presentation and a question and answer session at 7 p.m.

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