Monday, June 21, 2010

Energizing the downtown core

Downtown Calgary has a new powerhouse – literally. On June 18 The City of Calgary and ENMAX, a wholly owned subsidiary of The City, opened a new-to-Calgary concept in downtown infrastructure planning - The Calgary Downtown District Energy Centre. Based on successful models found in many European cities the District Energy Centre will provide heat and power to buildings in the downtown core.

“District Energy demonstrates Calgary’s commitment to long term infrastructure investment,” said Mayor Dave Bronconnier. “This project is integral to future development in East Village and supports municipal sustainable development by providing the basis for integrated energy planning.”
The building generates power through the use of natural gas, rather than coal, and directs the heat energy released in the process to the nearby 10 million square feet of new and existing downtown buildings through a network of insulated underground pipes.

The Federal and Provincial Governments and The City of Calgary announced its approval for the District Energy Project in March 2007. The District Energy Centre is located specifically to service current municipal-owned buildings along with other downtown buildings and areas soon to be developed.
The construction of the District Energy Centre was a cooperative effort through the Canada-Alberta Municipal Rural Infrastructure Fund (CAMRIF). CAMRIF is a partnership among federal, provincial and municipal governments. Over the program's life, CAMRIF has directed more than $321 million in federal, provincial and municipal funding to enhance municipal infrastructure and improve Albertans' quality of life; investments that not only support long-term economic growth but, more importantly, protect the environment.

*** Energy Minister Ron Liepert, Calgary Mayor Dave Bronconnier and President and CEO of ENMAX Gary Holden open the District Energy Centre June 18th ***

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