The Canada Infrastructure Bank (CIB) has reached financial close on a raw wastewater energy transfer project located at Toronto Western Hospital, which is part of the University Health Network (UHN).

“We are proud to partner with UHN and private-sector partners on our first public building retrofit investment,” said Ehren Cory, CEO of CIB. “The project will dramatically lower GHG emissions at the hospital while helping UHN meet its climate change commitments. We look forward to working with more public sector asset owners and the private sector to invest in new energy retrofit projects which consider long-term sustainability and action on climate change.”

The retrofit project will use the Huber ThermWin®️ System and Noventa IP to transfer thermal energy to and from wastewater flowing in the mid-Toronto interceptor sewer to provide low-carbon heating and cooling to the hospital.

As a result, the hospital’s natural gas use and water consumption will be significantly reduced. Over the next 30 years, the hospital will see a cumulative reduction in greenhouse gas emissions of more than 250,000 tonnes.

Renewable energy company Noventa Energy Partners (Noventa) worked with UHN with the support of Enbridge Gas to develop the $42.9 million project, which will provide approximately 90 per cent of the hospital’s heating and cooling requirements.

“At UHN, we know climate change is a major threat to health,” said Ron Swail, vice president of facilities management at UHN. “Over the past decade, our Energy & Environment team has completed more than 300 energy projects, which have already reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 25 per cent. We’re excited to add the WET System to the roster—something we couldn’t do without support from incredible partners, like the CIB, Noventa Energy Partners, VCIB, Enbridge Gas, Environment and Climate Change Canada, and the City of Toronto.”

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Under the terms of the agreement, the CIB will invest up to $19.3 million in subordinated debt and VanCity Community Investment Bank will invest $15.3 million in senior debt. Equity partners include Noventa and Enbridge Gas, while UHN will make a capital contribution. The Government of Canada is providing a grant under the Environment and Climate Change Canada—Low Carbon Economy Fund.

“Enbridge Gas is pleased to be a partner in developing the largest wastewater heat recovery system in the world,” said Cynthia Hansen, president of Enbridge Gas. “It’s an important step in protecting our natural resources as well as leveraging ‘waste’ to create clean energy solutions. We are committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions through a variety of initiatives, and this is one example of how we are investing our resources to further assist Ontario’s transition to a greener future.”

This is the first project under the CIB’s Public Building Retrofits Initiative, which seeks to achieve significant energy savings from infrastructure owned and/or managed by the public sector.

Header Image Credit: Mark Blinch.

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