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Building The Thermal Grid

Energy Matters May 2012

Richard Damecour CEO, FVB Energy Inc.

FVB Energy Inc.

•  District energy is our only business •  Key principals bring field tested experience in management, marketing and operations at successful district energy utilities •  Broad perspectives because of work in over 35 North American cities in 9 countries for 10 different types of district energy clients •  Significant role in 85% of District Energy Projects since 1990

What is District Energy?

What is District Energy?


There are ONLY Two Ways That We Can Reduce CO2 and Not Reduce Our Standard of Living

District Energy

The Fundamentals: Thermal vs. Electrical


Norman: Commercial/Institutional Sector - 2008

Why District Energy : Denmark 1973 " 

Imported oil provided 94% of Denmark s energy supply; self-sufficiency 2%


Oil crisis caused a severe shock to the economy which brought forward many ideas for energy conservation, fuel switching, and Combined Heat & Power (CHP)


Large quantities of natural gas were discovered in the North Sea


At the time, district heating supplied 30% of the Danish heating market; with 33% of heat produced by CHP plants

By 1980, energy planning at the Federal level lead to legislation & tax measures mandating a path to higher efficiency, cleaner fuels, the expansion of district energy systems, and the use of combined heat and power.

Why District Energy : Denmark 2000 " 

Dependence on imported oil – 2%


Use of indigenous energy sources – 65% of total energy consumption


District heating –50% (up from 30%)


District heating produced by CHP plants – 64% (up from 33%)


Renewable energy provides 25% of district energy fuel input


25% of Denmark s total energy consumption fueled by natural gas


60% of all Danish homes are heated by district energy

Supply for heat generation in Swedish district heating systems TWh/year

60 Other fuels


Fuel oil Coal


Electric boilers


Heat pumps Gases and LPG


Wood fuel and peat


Industrial surplus heat Waste incineration

0 1970









Sweden: Specific carbon dioxide emissions for heat generated in district heating systems kg CO2 /MWh heat 500 Heat generated from fuel oil

450 400

Heat generated from natural gas

350 300

District heat: Net emissions when electricity valued as zero emission

250 200

District heat: Net emissions when electricity valued as gas combined cycle condensing

150 100

District heat: Net emissions when electricity valued as coal condensing

50 0 1970





Sundsvall 1969

Sundsvall 2008



Benefits to Communities "   Long-term Community Investment "   Economic Development Tool "   Enhances Developer s Green Image "   Opportunity for CHP "   Fuel Flexibility & Diversity (and a bridge from nonrenewable to renewable fuels) "   Fuel Dollars Stay Within the Community "   Employment

Conventional Building Systems Approach

Natural Gas: Heating & domestic water

Electricity: Cooling & other loads

50% fuel conversion 10% transmission/ distribution losses


COP 3.0

District Energy


Boiler system efficiency increase; +diversity


Chiller system efficiency increase; +diversity


Combined heat & power


Hot water thermal storage: recover excess heat from CHP operations, discharge at off-peak hours for heating


Chilled water thermal storage: produce chilled water at night and discharge during peak hours.


Absorption cooling: CHP heat produces cooling


Bridge to renewable fuels (solar, biomass)

Leading Edge Sustainable Community Design "   Regent Park

"   Southeast Falls Creek (Olympic village)

"   Calgary East Village

Distribution System

Piping Installation

Energy Transfer Station



Municipality Must be Involved to Have a Successful System


Methodology Must be Developed to Ensure Maximum Connection

Rate " 

City Controlled Buildings Must be Connected ASAP


Phase Build Out of System to Match Revenue


Minimum Operations and Overheads for DE systems in Early Years


§  If a Community does not have thermal energy infrastructure – it has not met the sustainability test. §  If a Province does not have a thermal energy infrastructure strategy, it is missing 50% of the energy equation.

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