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Community Energy Strategy

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TABLE OF CONTENTS INTRODUCTION ............................................................................................................. 3 WHAT IS COMMUNITY ENERGY? ................................................................................. 4 VISION ............................................................................................................................. 5 STRATEGY PROCESS ................................................................................................... 5 PURPOSE ....................................................................................................................... 6 GOALS & INDICATORS .................................................................................................. 6 GUIDING PRINCIPLES ................................................................................................... 7 KEY CHALLENGES......................................................................................................... 8 EXPLORATION & KEY FINDINGS ................................................................................ 10 ACTION PLAN ............................................................................................................... 18 IMPLEMENTATION PROCESS..................................................................................... 20 Appendix A – Summary of Strategy Findings............................................................... 21 Appendix B - FVB Energy Inc. Report – Community Energy Expansion Study ........... 22 Appendix C – Map of energy intense areas – Clusters A-E ......................................... 24 Appendix D - Community Energy Handbook & Checklist ............................................. 25 Appendix E - Vital Engineering Corp. Study – Scope of Work ..................................... 49 Appendix F - Blank Screening Tool .............................................................................. 52

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INTRODUCTION Strathcona County is committed to ensuring that the growth and development of our urban and rural communities is sustainable. A sustainable community balances its social, economic and environmental components while improving the quality of life for both existing and future generations. It provides an integrated approach that recognizes the need for mutually reinforcing considerations of the three components. Communities today are increasingly faced with competing challenges such as raising funds for new infrastructure and services, managing growth, ensuring economic development, managing traffic and maintaining green space, clean air, water quality and quality of life. Strathcona County, like most municipalities in Alberta, is experiencing growth. With growth comes great opportunities as well as increased expectations and pressures. The way in which a community uses and delivers energy services affects all of these issues that communities face. In turn, the way in which a community is designed and operated directly impacts its energy requirements. Good energy planning, integrated into larger community planning processes, can help communities address many of today’s challenges including climate protection and security of energy supply. This strategy serves as a foundation for Community Energy Services to ensure a long-term plan is in place to help maximize opportunities, to manage pressures and to ensure that good community energy planning and sustainable development practices remain at the forefront of decision making processes.

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WHAT IS COMMUNITY ENERGY? Community Energy Systems (CES) supply heat to multiple buildings from a central source. The CES infrastructure is the “platform” of an energy delivery system that uses hot water as the energy medium. The primary energy source that generates the hot water can come from practically any source including natural gas, waste streams, renewable fuels, cogeneration and nearby waste-heat sources. CES connect communities and their buildings with the objective of achieving energy, environmental and economical benefits.

Integral to Centre in the Park (CITP)

The Centre in the Park development in the heart of Sherwood Park was the catalyst for Strathcona County’s Community Energy System, and reflects its commitment to sustainable development. In November 2006 the system began supplying heat to existing public buildings and to new private buildings being constructed in Centre in the Park. The system has approximately 1.5 kilometres of highly insulated underground pipe, which is a network of two sets of parallel pipes installed for hot water supply and return. An energy centre which houses three boilers, pumps and controls for the system has been constructed and has the potential to deliver up to 9 megawatts of heat to the system. At each connecting building, smaller pipes link to an energy transfer station. These stations are efficient heat plate exchangers that transfer the thermal heat to the customer’s internal building supply. In 2011, six municipal buildings and three residential buildings are now connected to the system through a network of underground pipes which convey hot water from the Community Energy Centre to each building. The Community Energy Centre acts as the heat source for the entire development. This means that each building that is connected to the system does not need a boiler. Sharing this infrastructure means reduced infrastructure costs for individual buildings. This system operates at 85-95 per cent efficiency whereas older individual commercial grade systems run at 65 per cent. Operating at a higher efficiency will have the potential to reduce greenhouse gases by 1,100 tonnes or 18 per cent per year when compared to conventional heating methods. This system is being used as a model of sustainable development for future projects and policy development in Strathcona County. The system was designed with a forward looking approach, in other words planning now for changes to come in the future. Natural gas currently fuels the system, however as other fuel opportunities prove to be more economical or better from an environmental point of view, the fuel source can be switched. This will not only allow for further reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, but the system may then also be able to use local fuel.

The Community Energy System is an integral part of truly being a sustainable community. 4


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VISION A vision serves to guide a process at the highest level. It is a statement that unifies a group and ensures that all parties are working towards the same end point. Strathcona County has a strong Council-approved vision that is broad and far-reaching. !

Strathcona County is a safe, caring and autonomous community that treasures its unique blend of urban and rural lifestyles while balancing the natural environment with economic prosperity. Through strong, effective leadership, the County is a vibrant community of choice.

Under this visionary umbrella, Community Energy Services strives to be a model of sustainable energy use that optimizes innovation and leadership. It is a community-based development that supports alternative energy projects that seek to maximize energy efficiency, and reflect longterm economic, social and environmental benefits.

STRATEGY PROCESS The Strategy was created using a five-step process taken from the Sun Living Framework, which is a decision making framework that links broader principles to detailed actions. It is characterized by collaborative engagement, an expanded development process and a robust suite of decision support tools. The net effect is that the process allows intentions to be clearly translated into sustainable on-the-ground results. To improve its energy efficiency and continue to reduce the carbon footprint, Strathcona County Utilities is proposing to develop a long range strategy and functional plan to expand Community Energy and explore technologies that would *'44+(5",)6(7#0,) reduce reliance on fossil fuels. !'8+"5'(.) Strathcona County Utilities proposed to develop a long-range strategy for community energy that will improve the efficiency and economics of the CITP system, and chart a path where community energy can become a service that is more broadly available to the community. The Strategy scope included the identification of local feedstocks, the exploration of conversion technologies for feedstocks that best suit Strathcona County, the opportunity for pilot technologies, and the feasibility of connecting to high energy clusters. A group of internal stakeholders, with a broad representation of functional areas within the organization, were selected to guide the development of this strategic plan in order to allow for unique viewpoints and skills to filter into the planning process. This internal team became project champions.

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PURPOSE This strategic plan is intended to be used in the following ways: � As a tool that will assist in reaching a fully maximized system for the CITP Community Energy System. � To be used as a guide to align planning decisions for Community Energy Services with Strathcona County’s Strategic Direction and long term Municipal Development Plan. � As direction to the development of Community Energy business plans and budgets. The activities and resource allocation will demonstrate alignment with, and the achievement of the goals in this strategy.

GOALS & INDICATORS These goals and indicators provide a way to determine whether the Community Energy Strategy is moving toward its stated vision over a period of time. ! !

Corporate Strategy Goal Indicator Corporate Strategy Goals

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Indicator Corporate Strategy

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Goal

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Indicator

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Strathcona County’s Environmental Sustainability Framework targets air emissions and energy efficiency by setting a goal for the County to use leading-edge technology and sound management practices. Reduce GHG emissions associated with building heating. Thermal efficiency – Maintain >80% conversion efficiency (kWh/m2). Strathcona County practises excellence in customer service based on the principles of effectiveness, efficiency, economy and equity (Strategic Plan). Customers are satisfied with the quality of service delivery by: Review alternative delivery models for improved effectiveness and cost efficiencies. Incorporate innovative ideas to improve service. Enhancing opportunities for customer feedback Maintain reliable heat delivery to customers (% satisfaction). Strathcona County enables and promotes the diversification of its economy through the development of green jobs and investment with the goal to be a model for sustainable development. (Economic Sustainability Framework) Develop local fuel source infrastructure that keeps energy dollars within the community. Level of local investment in fuel sources.

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GUIDING PRINCIPLES The following principles underpin the development and implementation of this strategic plan.

Commitment to Sustainability

Sustainability for Strathcona County means… Developing in a manner that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs, while striking a balance between economic prosperity, social responsibility and environmental stewardship. To achieve a sustainable community, Strathcona County has adopted a process defined by sustainability principles that move toward, and ultimately achieve � solutions and activities that conserve, enhance and regenerate nature and lifesustaining ecosystems. � solutions and activities that free us from our dependence on substances that are extracted from the earth’s crust and accumulate in nature. � cradle-to-cradle solutions and activities in design, manufacturing and consumption such that substances produced by society do not accumulate in nature. � social solutions and activities that allow every person to meet basic human needs and achieve their potential in life, now and in the future.

SC Municipal Development Plan

Innovation

Strathcona County fosters an approach to planning and a corporate culture which supports and enables new ways of thinking that lead to continuous improvement, and the exploration and implementation of new practices, processes, partnerships and services in order to meet the increasing needs and expectations of the community.

SC Strategic Plan

Collaboration

Collaboration is at the heart of this approach, engaging diverse groups and individuals throughout the planning process. This strategic planning was done with a holistic view that acknowledges the inter-related needs of various departments. Collaborative engagement allows for all unique viewpoints and skills at the table to filter into the planning and design process. Internal stakeholders agree to cooperate wherever possible to achieve synergies and system solutions thereby supporting the best outcome.

Mayhew, W. & Campbell, E. (2008). Sun Living

Resilience & Adaptive Capacity

A resilient community is one that takes intentional action to enhance the personal and collective capacity of its citizens and institutions to respond to and influence the course of social and economic change. Having the ability to assess and specify their level of resilience allows a community to identify areas of weakness, and select and implement strategies proven to target those difficulties. Systems with high adaptive capacity are able to re-configure themselves without significant declines in crucial functions in relation to productivity, social relations and economic prosperity. A consequence of a loss of resilience, and therefore of adaptive capacity, is loss of opportunity, constrained options during periods of re-organisation and renewal, an inability of the system to do different things. Learning, recovery and flexibility open eyes to innovation and new worlds of opportunity. The Resilience Alliance, http://www.resalliance.org, June 10, 2011.

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KEY CHALLENGES Maximizing the CITP system

A feasibility study was conducted in 2004 for the CITP Community Energy System confirming an opportunity to provide a centrally generated heating system to targeted buildings in the CITP area. The system was sized and designed to accommodate 6 municipal buildings, 15 proposed residential buildings, and 2 schools with projected build out to occur by 2010. A memorandum of understanding was signed with Christenson Developments, the chosen developer selected for the CITP redevelopment, to ensure residential building connections. Since the system was constructed in 2005, only the municipal buildings and three residential buildings have been connected. A phased approach was developed to accommodate the pace of development and the future expiry of existing building heating infrastructure. However, the economic downturn beginning in 2008 has slowed the pace of development in the CITP project. In addition, the current model for attracting new customers is based on a voluntary approach where community energy competes against a business as usual model (i.e. generating heat onsite through individual natural gas boilers). This approach does not provide an incentive to customers to connect nor does it provide the utility with a full cost recovery model, thus creating a service risk. An alternative approach is to explore the use of regulatory tools to ensure the maximization of the system. Under the Municipal Government Act, Section 33 provides that a municipality may by bylaw become the exclusive provider of a public utility service in all or a part of the municipality. “Public Utility” is defined under s.1(1)(y)(viii) of the Act as including the utility of “heat”, in which thermal heating would be included as a utility service. Community Energy is an energy distribution system for the purpose of conveying heat and hot water to properties, therefore the County could regulate how it is to be provided.

Viable business case

The context under which the current Community Energy System operates is based on recovering all operating costs and capital costs from user revenues or full cost recovery. Due to the current scale of services, interim financing is necessary to cover the cost requirements. The number of customers is less than originally intended therefore this is generally viewed as less than satisfactory and is not self-sustaining. Community Energy services require a large initial capital investment which results in long pay back periods or high user cost recovery rates. Under the current financial model, the capital costs would be financed through debentures which add a significant interest component to the costs and decreases the County debt capacity. These factors often make the business cases for potential projects fail an economic test. These initial costs become more manageable when shared with multiple users in higher density areas or through utilizing other funding sources such as grants. While the County is currently in a strong financial position, it needs to ensure that its 8


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fiscal capacity to provide services is maintained over the long term. Long-term financial sustainability will enable Strathcona County to fund, on an ongoing basis, the services required to support its social, environmental and economic goals and achieve its vision. Municipal governments have different drivers than private enterprise, such as providing services to residents and integrating sustainability initiatives, which are often not captured in a full cost recovery business case. Community Energy could be seen as similar to other municipal services, therefore may not need to have any direct financial return on investment. Natural gas volatility Price volatility in the commodity markets has remained prevalent in the last few years, and prices are impacted by many factors that are outside of our control. Natural gas prices are affected by changes in market supply and demand, which are impacted by overall economic activity, weather, pipeline capacity constraints, inventory storage levels, transportation and other factors. As a result, we cannot accurately predict future natural gas prices, therefore, we cannot determine with accuracy what effect increases or decreases will have on our capital business cases. Therefore, natural gas pricing is directly passed to our customers through the energy rate, therefore Strathcona County is unable to protect customers from volatile markets. Alternative fuels Current heating systems are based on a dependence on natural gas as the only fuel option. Strathcona County is interested in diversifying technologies and the potential fuel streams while looking at local sourcing options. By exploring alternative technologies and fuel sources, Strathcona County could mitigate the potential negative consequences of extreme price volatility, while reducing the community’s carbon footprint. However, due to the current natural gas prices being low ($ 6/GJ – July 2011), alternative options are less economically viable at this time.

Capacity for new systems

As Strathcona County strives to build a strong integrated community energy plan through expansion opportunities, ensuring financial sustainability and sufficient resource capacity for the corporation is challenging. Capital expenditures will increase and debt capacity will lessen as existing infrastructure ages and new infrastructure is built to accommodate growth. Municipalities are faced with funding and resourcing a wide range of services in response to competing challenges that support social, environmental and economic sustainability of Strathcona County. In addition, building the capacity that is required to manage increased volume and complexity of services demands significant human resources within the organization.

Customer education

Currently a gap exists in terms of educating customers about the system operations and efficiencies, as well as the applied billing model for customers. Although Strathcona County has made every effort to communicate with initial customers, as residential buildings are turned over to condo associations and residents, a linkage is not made straight away with the County.

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EXPLORATION & KEY FINDINGS Each of the following sections outline the exploration phase that Strathcona County has undertaken as part of the development of this strategy. The key findings are presented within each section as they relate to the particular focus, and are identified and numbered (ie.F1, F2) throughout the sections for quick reference. A full list of the findings can be found in Appendix A. Strathcona County will utilize the key findings from this exploration phase to inform the action plan.

Customer Expansion Opportunities

The Steering Committee engaged FVB Energy Inc. to develop strategies to improve efficiency of the existing system and identify potential expansion opportunities. The Executive Summary of this report can be found in Appendix B. The expansion strategy identified upcoming areas of development (Figure 1 & Appendix C), that when targeted can expand the Community Energy customer base to include existing and proposed developments within the County. The Strategy also details the development of additional Community Energy Systems, and the corresponding potential links within the County. F1

The steering committee analyzed the expansion opportunities against development timing and opportunity, and priority was given to the following clusters for community energy consideration: ! ! ! !

F2

A - (Millennium Place and SPSY corridor) B - (RCMP, Courthouse, Fire Hall corridor) C - (Emerald Hills Urban Village) F - (CITP Expansion)

Based on capacity and timing (present to 2016), exploration of connections to the Salisbury (D) and Cambrian (F) developments could be postponed. Both have CES potential, but due to the pace of development, density is not sufficient to allow for an economical distribution system. It is important to note that from the planning and development information acquired, no existing or future energy clusters were identified outside of the Sherwood Park area due to lack of necessary density to support a viable business Figure 1 – Identified energy clusters within Strathcona County 10


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case. The hamlets of Josephburg, Ardrossan and South Cooking Lake were all investigated for potential growth opportunities, however the total energy load required in these areas is low when compared to other opportunities. F3

As part of this study two main tools were developed to assist the County with prospective Community Energy projects: the ‘Community Energy Handbook’ and the ‘Community Energy Ready Checklist’ (Appendix D). The Community Energy Handbook is a tool used to educate stakeholders on the basics of CES, and provide potential customers a guideline to successfully connect to the system. This document will assist Strathcona County in conveying to stakeholders the opportunities, benefits and requirements to implement a Community Energy service. The stakeholders and users of this document are assumed to be developers, building owners and building designers. The purpose of the Handbook is to provide preliminary information in regards to the County’s approach to Community Energy Systems, an introduction to the concept and rationale behind Community Energy, and to set out generally what will be required of the various stakeholders. The Community Energy Ready Checklist is a pre-screening tool that determines if a potential development area should be further studied as a Community Energy System connection. The intent of this tool is that it can be used with some modest input from Community Energy specialists before undertaking costly studies to determine whether connecting a development to Community Energy could be viable. The checklist is the first step in evaluating whether or not Community Energy should be pursued. All inputs are either “Yes” or “No” answers and will be evaluated by Community Energy specialists. The specialist, in conjunction with Strathcona County, must define the weighting of each criteria and its impact on the total viability of the community energy system.

Alternative Energy Opportunities

The Community Energy Expansion Study, prepared by FVB Energy Inc., also identified technologies and fuel sources to reduce Strathcona County’s reliance on natural gas. The original CITP Community Energy system was designed to integrate alternative energy sources into the operation of the system. With the natural gas boiler and distribution system in place, a Community Energy System can utilize different fuel sources, offering flexibility in fuel options. Research identified excellent local and regional renewable opportunities with emphasis on “waste” resources that have a low carbon footprint; particularly municipal, woody, and agricultural residues (oat hull, straw, feed mill). Table 1 summarizes the potential fuel sources that were evaluated based on several criteria including energy concentration, available fuel, cost and viability.

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Table 1 – Resource Screening Results* Energy (GJ per Tonne)

Available Tonnes

Available Energy (GJ)

Total Cost ($) per GJ **

15.1 7.8 3.1 3.1

5,040 2,050 9,670 9,960

56,900 12,800 16,900 19,900

n/a n/a n/a n/a

No, Currently being recycled No, Currently being recycled No, Currently being composted, low heat value No, Low heat value, difficult to separate

14.2 32.1 0.8 17.7

8,780 3,050 2,320 380

93,200 63,700 1,200 5,400

n/a n/a n/a n/a

No, this is recyclable material No, this is recyclable material No, low volume of usable fuel and low heat value No, low volume of usable fuel

16.6 13.7 5.0

7,230 2,190

78,200 19,500

$4.5 n/a n/a

18.45 18.1 19.2 18.25 18.1 15.6

16,360 2,500 8,600

249,000 37,300 136,200

21,000

270,300

$8.6 $8.8 $8.3 $8.7 $8.8 $10.2

Yes, for clusters with smaller loads (A & F) No, additional emissions create poor perception No, low energy value, difficult to separate No, consistent supply and competitive procurement cost are an issue. In drought years (every 3-5 yrs), no straw is available. Current pricing is around $135/tonne due to a drought year; however more typical cost would be approx $35/tonne. 90% straw currently used for livestock in Alberta.

17.15 17.15 17.15

10,220 1,990 64,820 77,030

144,600 28,200 917,100

$6.4 $6.8 n/a

No, due to high cost per tonne. No, due to high cost per tonne. No, due to high cost per tonne.

15,420 6,000 21,000 42,420 7,070 7,070

248,100 96,500 337,800

$3.6 $3.8 $4.6

No-unknown values due to confidentiality Yes, very stable supply, even in drought years Yes – sold to livestock feed as fibre source Yes – plans to implement pelleting facility.

103,500 103,500

$6.7 $6.7

No, typically sold back directly to feed industry No, typically sold back directly to feed industry

18.75 17.74 17.5 17.1

18,000

278,400

30,000

423,200

$7.2 $10.7 $10.9 $11.1

No, high cost and cannot be locally sourced. No, high cost and cannot be locally sourced. No, high cost and cannot be locally sourced. No, high cost and cannot be locally sourced.

18.7

35,400

544,700

$5.3

Yes – Extra cost develops farm infrastructure

Wastewater Biogas – Source 1 Wastewater Biogas – Source 2

n/a n/a

No- Resource is fully committed No- Resource is fully committed

Non-Renewable Fuel Natural Gas

$8.0

Optional

Residue Type Residential Waste Stream a) Paper and Cardboard b) Commingled Containers c) Organics d) Landfill ICI Waste Stream a) Paper and Cardboard b) Plastics c) Organics d) Textiles, Rubber Leather C&D Waste Stream a) Wood (mixed) b) Roofing c) Other combustibles Straw Residues Wheat Oat Barley Rye Flax Canola Milling Residues Wheat Bran – Source 1 Wheat Bran – Source 2 Wheat Bran – Source 3 Total Oat Hulls – Source 1 Oat Hulls – Source 2 Oat Hulls – Source 3 Oat Hulls – Source 4 Total Pin Oats – Source 1 Pin Oats – Source 2 Wood Residue Wood Pellets – Source 1 Wood Pellets – Source 2 Wood Pellets – Source 3 Wood Pellets – Source 4 Native Grasses Switchgrass Renewable Fuel

19.5 19.5 19.5 19.5 17.74 17.74

Viable Heat Source

* Completion of study was August 2010; results based on data from 2008-2010. ** Costs do not factor in delivery of fuel sources. 12


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F4

Primarily due to reliability of supply and delivered price, the following resources have been identified as the best opportunity for Strathcona County, and were selected for further analysis against the viable energy clusters: ! Oat Hulls – energy potential for 682,400 GJ or 190,000 MWh per year ! Native Grasses – energy potential for 544, 700 GJ or 150,000 MWh per year ! Construction & Demolition Wood – energy potential for 78,200 GJ or 22,000 MWH per year The following Table 2 illustrates whether the available resource can meet the required energy for each cluster. Table 2 – Resource Availability for Energy Clusters Residue Type

Available Energy / Total Required Energy Available Cluster Cluster Cluster Cluster Cluster Cluster Tonnes A B C D E F

CRD Waste Stream Mixed Wood

7,230

84%

52%

72%

53%

51%

130%

Milling Residues Oat Hulls – Source 1 Oat Hulls – Source 2 Oat Hulls – Source 3

15,420 6,000

209% 81%

130% 51%

180% 70%

132% 51%

128% 50%

325% 126%

21,000

285%

177%

246%

180%

174%

443%

35,400

460%

286%

396%

290%

280%

714%

Native Grasses Switchgrass Eg.

F5

The locally available Mixed Wood feedstock is approximately 7,230 tonnes, which equates to 78,200 GJ of available energy. In terms of Cluster A, the Mixed Wood would provide 84% of the required energy for that area.

The freedom of using alternative feedstocks allows the CES to source the most cost effective supply while maintaining price security. Flexible fuel options allow for the creation of a local fuel source infrastructure and economy that keeps energy dollars within the community, and would assist the County in achieving its Economic Sustainability - Green Economy goals. Alternative opportunities will further reduce Strathcona County’s greenhouse gases, and increase the community’s resiliency in terms of energy needs. Consequently, the study also reviewed technologies associated with renewable resources, such as geo-exchange, industrial waste heat recovery, suspended oil and gas wells, and cogeneration. The conclusion was that the best choice for Strathcona County was an advanced combustion processes (ie. biomass combustion, waste to energy, cogeneration, etc.), due to it being effective, proven and available in Canada. 13


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Complimentary Technologies Stand alone systems

Strathcona County explored systems in which stand alone units or mini plants were used to connect buildings to a district energy system. Space was provided in the buildings by developers to support the system as a requirement by the municipalities. A temporary stand alone strategy could provide the opportunity to align neighborhood development with system development, until such time it becomes viable for a centralized system. This strategy can also be used to defer capital expenditures to allow heating load to grow resulting in better matching between capital expenditures and revenue streams. The stand alone unit could then be redeployed to other new sites as the system develops or in response to load growth at other existing sites. F6 Stand alone heating systems can be used for a specified term as a bridging strategy until a centralized community energy system can be brought to the site. Lonsdale Energy Corporation, Stand Alone System

Cogeneration

Combined heat and power solutions (the use of a heat engine or a power station to simultaneously generate both electricity and useful heat) were explored as part of this strategy, as natural gas supply infrastructure is already in place and proven technology within Alberta. Capital costs can be offset by the electricity sold at market rates, however the viability of natural gas cogeneration is typically dictated by the relative price of natural gas to electricity. The relative price comparison is typically the electricity price expected from sales of electricity divided by the price of natural gas purchases and represents the “market heat rate.� An appropriately sized cogeneration unit that meets the baseload heating demand, as well as creates a viable business case for Strathcona County, has a peak output of 5.4 MWe and an annual output of 26,000 MWhe. F7

Small scale cogeneration, that make a viable business case, should be explored as opportunities arise.

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Cooling

District cooling is a viable option in regions where the climate is hot and humid for a good portion of the year, hence systems have been developed primarily in eastern Canada. In western Canada, the climate is less suitable for district cooling, as it has high capital costs due to the significant infrastructure required compared to the low demand requirements. F8

Cooling will not be a standard service offering, and will only be reviewed for unique situations on a case by case basis upon request from interested parties.

Operational Validation

Strathcona County Utilities commissioned the consulting engineering services of Vital Engineering Corporation to conduct an Energy Audit and Business as Usual study of two buildings in the Centre in the Park development: Festival Estates and Park Vista. The study consisted of comparing the energy use in these two multi-unit residential buildings to comparable existing buildings and developing a costing for the design, construction and equipment, operation and maintenance of a traditional business as usual heating system in comparable buildings. The scope of work from this study can be found in Appendix E. F9

The Energy Audit and Business as Usual study for CITP confirmed the system to be operationally efficient and cost comparative to Business As Usual buildings.

Financial Model

Grant Thornton LLP was engaged to assist the Community Energy Steering Committee in reviewing the current revenue model as it relates to capital costs, annual fixed costs, and annual variable costs and determine if there are alternative financial management approaches to increase this service line’s financial sustainability. Grant Thornton also reviewed the financial models currently being used in evaluating the business cases and expected financial benefits for adding new customers to the system. F10 The financial model that is used for Community Energy projects was confirmed to be sound. However, to be self-sustaining while being bound by the current revenue model and fixed cost structure, alternative energies should be integrated into the system. In addition to the third party financial validation, the steering committee investigated other funding opportunities to support Community Energy in Strathcona County. Currently, projects have been eligible for external grant opportunities specific to community energy, however have not been a contender for per capita grants internally. To assist this, being eligible for per capita grant funding would reduce the capital recovery target, and would represent the County’s shared contribution towards sustainability. F11 As business cases arise that need funding assistance, Community Energy projects should be considered for eligibility for Strathcona County’s internal (per capita) grant programs.

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Regulatory Mechanisms

Under the current customer model, inefficiencies result when individual customers choose not to connect to the system. To achieve full operating cost recovery and the projected amount of capital recovery requires that a maximum number of clients in a confined geographic area connect to the system. The Steering Committee has explored various regulatory options in order to strengthen the current Community Energy system, as well as future opportunities. One regulatory mechanism successfully implemented in other Canadian municipalities, such as the City of Vancouver and City of North Vancouver, are bylaws requiring connection to the community energy system. F12 Putting in a formal process that requires connections and service agreements, while providing guidance on mechanical system design, will protect assets. This will also add clarity and transparency to the process for potential future clients. In addition to looking at a Bylaw as a regulatory mechanism, the steering committed evaluated the possibility of utilizing contributions in aide of construction (CIAC). Strathcona County currently charges developers levies, service connection fees, CIAC and capital recreation contributions, but has not yet applied CIAC to Community Energy. F13 Developing a policy, benefiting area and mechanism for collecting for the service will ensure a customer base for a system. This would include details on when and how the service is connected to buildings. Under the current model, community energy is exclusive to CITP residents and businesses; however, in terms of social sustainability, one view is to have a socially inclusive society that provides citizens an equitable opportunity to access services. Through this strategic plan, the intent of a regulatory approach is to chart a path where community energy would become more inclusive and broadly available in a community.

Screening Tool

Based on research and findings, the steering committee developed a screening tool to assess and evaluate community energy projects for prioritization and decision making. The intent of the tool is to be an initial basic screening method that will allow the user to evaluate the project and provide a guided recommendation. F14 The tool will be used to evaluate projects as they arise to ensure that the County can proceed to the next planning stage with confidence.

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Evaluation Criteria Sustainability

Yes No

Notes

Does the project meet Strathcona County’s overall sustainability goals? Does the project result in GHG reductions for the community? How much? Does the project use or have the ability to use an alternative technology or fuel source? Provide details. Does the project contribute to waste diversion in Strathcona County? What is the expected diverted tonnage?

Operational Validation

Economic Verification

Does the project meet the Community Energy Ready Checklist? Does the project enhance the system and building efficiency? Is there stability, certainty of supply and flexibility of fuel source? Is the project economically viable for the County? Is the net present value (NPV) for the project business case acceptable? Is it greater or equal to zero? Is funding available for the project? Identify source of funds. Is the project cost equivalent for those residents that are directly connected to the system?

Guidance Required

Check the box that most applies and provide comments below.

Manageable Risks Proceed Confidently Completed by ________________________ Date _________________ Approved by _________________________ Date _________________

A blank Screening Tool form can be found in Appendix F.

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ACTION PLAN

These actions are recommended to support, and ultimately achieve, the Community Energy Strategy vision and goals.

Maximization & Expansion Opportunities Guiding Statement:

Strathcona County values integrated community energy solutions that move us towards and ultimately achieve solutions and activities that maximize efficiency and free us from our dependence on non-renewable resources. (Municipal Development Plan & Environmental Sustainability Framework)

Action 1:

Expand the customer base for the CITP system to ensure the project’s economic goals are met.

Action 2:

Pursue opportunities in the priority clusters as identified in the expansion strategy to expand community energy to high density energy clusters in Stratchona County.

Screening Tool Guiding Statement:

Strathcona County values the review of alternative delivery models for improved effectiveness and efficiencies. (Strategic Plan)

Action 1:

Apply the evaluation criteria to each community energy project, and utilize as a basis for comparison and prioritization to other community energy projects.

Alternative Opportunities Guiding Statement:

Strathcona County employs advanced technology and sound management practices in its continuous efforts to improve energy efficiency. (Environmental Sustainability Framework)

Action 1:

Incorporate alternative fuels into current projects and future expansion opportunities.

Action 2:

Evaluate and implement different models and technologies that could compliment community energy (i.e. stand alone systems, cogeneration)

Action 3:

Encourage and support the development of local feedstock industry in Strathcona County and Capital Region to support our green economy objectives.

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Regulatory Mechanism Guiding Statement:

Strathcona County has effective plans and policies that guide the corporation and the community. (Strategic Plan)

Action 1:

Consult Community Energy stakeholders in terms of regulatory mechanisms.

Action 2:

Develop a Community Energy Bylaw that incorporates the CITP Community Energy System, and is flexible to amend for new expansion areas.

Action 3:

As part of the Bylaw, create a formal process that requires connection and service agreements; this process will also provide guidance on mechanical system design. Energy modeling will be a requirement for building connections.

Action 4:

For new Community Energy opportunities, develop a policy to collect contributions or fees from developers for connection to the system. (i.e. cash, air space, other).

Financial Model Guiding Statement:

Strathcona County is in sound financial condition and has the fiscal capacity to deliver services and infrastructure on a sustainable basis. (Economic Sustainability Framework)

Action 1:

As projects arise, evaluate the business case against the financial model.

Action 2:

Evaluate the eligibility of a project for external and/or internal grant funding opportunities that might assist the project in passing the economic test.

Customer Communication & Education Guiding Statement:

Strathcona County communicates effectively with its stakeholders and uses effective mechanisms to facilitate two-way communications. (Strategic Plan)

Action 1:

Provide updates and education materials to new and existing customers, as well as to the broader community.

Action 2:

Enhance stakeholder consultation on new projects.

Action 3:

Assist building operators, owners and condo boards in understanding system connections and building operations to maximize efficiencies and costs. 19


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IMPLEMENTATION PROCESS

This implementation process was developed to support the strategy and actions as outlined in this document.

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Appendix A – Summary of Strategy Findings Customer Expansion Opportunities F1 The steering committee analyzed the expansion opportunities against development timing and opportunity, and priority was given to the following clusters for community energy consideration: ! A - (Millennium Place and SPSY corridor) ! B - (RCMP, Courthouse, Fire Hall corridor) ! C - (Emerald Hills Urban Village) ! F - (CITP Expansion) F2 Based on capacity and timing (present to 2016), exploration of connections to the Salisbury (D) and Cambrian (F) developments could be postponed. Both have CES potential, but due to the pace of development, density is not sufficient to allow for an economical distribution system. F3 As part of this study two main tools were developed to assist the County with prospective Community Energy projects: the ‘Community Energy Handbook’ and the ‘Community Energy Ready Checklist’ (Appendix D). Alternative Energy Opportunities F4 Primarily due to reliability of supply and delivered price, the following resources have been identified as the best opportunity for Strathcona County, and were selected for further analysis against the viable energy clusters: ! Oat Hulls – energy potential for 682,400 GJ or 190,000 MWh per year ! Native Grasses – energy potential for 544, 700 GJ or 150,000 MWh per year ! Construction & Demolition Wood – energy potential for 78,200 GJ or 22,000 MWH per year F5 The freedom of using alternative feedstocks allows the CES to source the most cost effective supply while maintaining price security. Flexible fuel options allow for the creation of a local fuel source infrastructure and economy that keeps energy dollars within the community, and would assist the County in achieving its Economic Sustainability - Green Economy goals. Complimentary Technologies F6 Stand alone heating systems can be used for a specified term as a bridging strategy until a centralized community energy system can be brought to the site. F7 F8

Small scale cogeneration, that make a viable business case, should be explored as opportunities arise. Cooling will not be a standard service offering, and will only be reviewed for unique situations on a case by case basis upon request from interested parties. Operational Validation F9 The Energy Audit and Business as Usual study for CITP confirmed the system to be operationally efficient and cost comparative to Business As Usual buildings. Financial Model F10 The financial model that is used for Community Energy projects was confirmed to be sound. However, to be self-sustaining while being bound by the current revenue model and fixed cost structure, alternative energies should be integrated into the system. F11 As business cases arise that need funding assistance, Community Energy projects should be considered for eligibility for Strathcona County’s internal (per capita) grant programs. Regulatory Mechansim F12 Putting in a formal process that requires connections and service agreements, whilst providing guidance on mechanical system design, will protects assets. This will also add clarity and transparency to the process for potential future clients. F13 Developing a policy, benefiting area and mechanism for collecting for the service will ensure a customer base for a system. This should include when and how the service is connected to buildings. Screening Tool F14 The tool (Appendix F) will be used to evaluate projects as they arise to ensure that the County can proceed to the next planning stage with confidence.

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Appendix B - FVB Energy Inc. Report – Community Energy Expansion Study

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Appendix C – Map of energy intense areas – Clusters A-E

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Appendix D - Community Energy Handbook & Checklist

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COMMUNITY ENERGY HANDBOOK

Prepared by: FVB Energy

August 2010

Disclaimer The following information is provided for general use and the user assumes all responsibility. The information contained within is general in nature and does not substitute for the execution of detailed engineering relative to specific projects or problems. Neither FVB Energy Inc., nor any of their contractors or employees, give any warranty expressed or implied, or assume any legal liability or responsibility for the accuracy, completeness, or usefulness of any information, product application, or process disclosed within this document. Nor are they liable for any consequential damage whatsoever (including, without limitation, damages for loss of business profits, business interruption, loss of business information, or other losses) arising from the use or inability to use this document.


Table of Contents 1. 

OVERVIEW.............................................................................................................................................. 3 

2. 

SUMMARY .............................................................................................................................................. 4  2.1  What is community energy? ............................................................................................................. 4  2.2  Why community energy?.................................................................................................................. 4  2.3  Will community energy work in my development? ........................................................................... 6 

3. 

ADVANTAGES OF COMMUNITY ENERGY ................................................................................................... 7  3.1  3.2  3.3  3.4  3.5  3.6 

4. 

COMMONLY ASKED QUESTIONS .............................................................................................................. 9  4.1  4.2  4.3  4.4  4.5  4.6  4.7 

5. 

Lowest cost advantage .................................................................................................................... 7  Energy efficiency .............................................................................................................................. 7  Stable energy costs.......................................................................................................................... 8  Simplified building design & reduced building cost .......................................................................... 8  Community energy - green, clean & safe......................................................................................... 9  Community energy - higher quality service ...................................................................................... 9  How community energy works in Strathcona County? .................................................................... 9  How will community energy change my building design?.............................................................. 10  How much will it cost? .................................................................................................................... 10  Who will own the CES and bill customers?.................................................................................... 10  Can buildings still employ on-site renewable energy? ................................................................... 10  Will community energy affect my building’s LEED Certification? .................................................. 11  Additional questions ....................................................................................................................... 11 

CONTRACTUAL RELATIONSHIPS ............................................................................................................ 12  5.1  Contract with CES .......................................................................................................................... 12  5.2  Billing and cost of service............................................................................................................... 13  5.3  Building developer vs. CES resident.............................................................................................. 14 

6. 

CES DESCRIPTION ............................................................................................................................... 14  6.1  Central energy centre (CEC) ......................................................................................................... 14  6.2  Distribution piping system (DPS) ................................................................................................... 15  6.3  Energy transfer station (ETS) ........................................................................................................ 16 

7. 

TECHNICAL REQUIREMENTS FOR BUILDINGS .......................................................................................... 18  7.1  HVAC systems – developer prime responsibility ........................................................................... 18  7.2  ETS connection – CES prime responsibility .................................................................................. 20  7.3  Building branch connections – CES prime responsibility............................................................... 20 

8. 

TECHNICAL REQUIREMENTS FOR HYDRONIC SYSTEMS ........................................................................... 21  8.1  Introduction .................................................................................................................................... 21  8.2  Pumping and control strategy ........................................................................................................ 21  8.3  Hydronic heating and DHW systems (minimum) requirements ..................................................... 21 

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1. Overview Strathcona County is committed to making decisions that are anchored by solid reasoning based on the principles of sustainability. The journey towards sustainability began in 2002, when the largest community consultation in Strathcona County history occurred. This effort to gather such robust and diverse feedback from stakeholders formed our Strategic Plan. More recently, Strathcona County adopted three Sustainability Frameworks. The development of the three frameworks was motivated by our unique context, and a desire to emphasize a triple bottom line approach to sustainability - social, environmental and economic. Each framework looks intimately at one of the three legs of the sustainability stool. The frameworks also contain decision support tools, which are used both to justify decisions and to highlight areas where mitigation is required. The three sustainability frameworks along with the Strategic Plan provide a solid vision that supports pursuing Community Energy solutions in Strathcona County. Energy efficiency, greenhouse gas reductions, public education and resource management are all important benefits of the Community Energy model, which are closely tied to the vision and strategic directions as outlined in these documents. This community energy handbook has been developed to provide useful information regarding Strathcona County community energy systems (CES). The target audience includes developers, building owners, design architects and engineers. This handbook is organized such that general information, which is often required by developers and building owners, can be found in Sections 2 through 5. Technical information, which is often requested by building architects and designers, can be found in Sections 6 through 8. The readers are encouraged to review the complete document.

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2. Summary 2.1

What is community energy?

Community energy is a local utility service that will provide heating for your development in a sustainable way. CES systems distribute thermal energy (hot water) from a central energy centre through a network of buried piping systems to individual customer buildings. These reliable heating systems allow for use of local resources, and result in a reduction of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, while helping communities meet their sustainability objectives.

2.2

Why community energy?

Over the last fifty years, community energy has been one of the contributing factors in significantly reducing the consumption of fossil fuels countries throughout the world. This is often achieved by starting a CES using conventional technology at higher efficiency, and eventually fuel switching from fossil fuels to a renewable resource. In Sweden, community energy has been in place for over fifty years, and most community energy is now sourced from renewable energy, as shown in the graph below. The graph shows that in the early 70’s the energy source for the district energy systems was 100% from fossil fuels, and by the year 2004, this has been reduced to less than 20%. Swedish District Energy Growth and Fuel Sources (1970 – 2004)

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The ability of community energy to access renewable energy is a big advantage. The status quo approach to achieving your building heating requirements creates a long-term dependence on fossil fuels. Other advantages to community energy systems include: 1. Elimination of in-building heating equipment allows developers to make buildings more sustainable at a lower total cost than green buildings without community energy 2. Allows the County to be a leader in new, innovative and efficient technologies 3. CES is aligned with the principles of quality and higher standards 4. The heating service will always be available 5. More reliable than in-building mechanical systems as well as quieter, safer and more durable 6. Service calls will be less frequent 7. The buildings will be free from combustible fuels, and less water treatment chemicals 8. No natural gas pipes to property will be needed 9. Electrical service to your development may be downsized 10. There will be more useful space available both inside the building and on the roof with no stacks, or make-up air heaters. Hence the roof space will be more congenial.

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2.3

Will community energy work in my development?

There is no simple answer to the question, “Will community energy work in my development?” In order to answer this question, the County has assembled a “community energy ready” checklist. This checklist should be completed to help determine whether CES is an opportunity to consider. The checklist is provided below. Screening Tool #1 Checklist Screening #1 - Community Energy Ready - Checklist

Yes / No

Suggested Minimum Requirements: Energy Density > 1,000 MWh / Ha High Building Area Density > 10,000 m2 / Ha "Target" High Demand Building (i.e. Hospital, Rec Facility, etc.) Surrounding High Density Buildings (MURB's, Offices, Schools, Pools, Hospitals) Beneficial Criteria: Sustainability Frameworks or Policy Direction from Municipality Interest in Competitively Priced Energy with Lower Carbon emissions Footprint Provincial or Federal Funding (i.e. GMIF, etc.) Capital Investment in Community Energy is Available Delivered Fuel Cost > $10 /GJ New Development or Building Connection: Interest in Avoiding Initial Investment in Owner Supplied Heating Equipment Proximity to Existing Community Energy Centre Development In Early Design Stages (i.e. Design Building with Hydronic Heating) Existing Development or Building Connection: No Extensive Building Modifications are Required Currently Utilizing Hydronic Heating Interest in an Alternative to Replacing Owner Heating Equipment Proximity to Existing Community Energy Centre Pursue Community Energy Connection

The checklist responses should be reviewed with the County and their community energy specialists to determine whether community energy should be further pursued in your development.

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3. Advantages of Community Energy 3.1

Lowest cost advantage

Community energy involves spending a moderate amount of capital up-front in order to reap ongoing and enduring benefits from reduced consumption of natural gas and electricity. This also allows for reduced maintenance and refurbishment of in-building fuel conversion systems. Buildings that are expecting to replace a current boiler are candidates for community energy. Furthermore, community energy makes particular sense in future county developments because: 1. There is a relatively high density of buildings which all have the potential of connection to the system. 2. All new buildings can be designed to maximize the efficiency of community energy and save capital from eliminating the need for individual heating systems. 3. CES construction costs will be lower than normal because: a. A location for the central energy centre does not reduce development and can be determined in early development stages. b. Construction of the CES can occur alongside other infrastructure development to reduce overall installation cost. 4. Strathcona County Utilities has the perspective that takes into account the full economic and environmental life cycle costs and benefits.

3.2

Energy efficiency

The central energy centre is designed with efficiency as a principal focus in many of its systems and sub-systems. The equipment is properly sized to allow for the design efficiency ratings to be met. When comparing to in-building heating systems, the CES boilers operate closer to full design load, where they are most efficient. Community energy is more capable than de-centralized systems because of the following reasons: 1. Allows different buildings to access the supply when needed. 2. Multiple pieces of equipment help control supply and demand needs. 3. Precise controls and operation are optimized.

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Knowledgeable and professionally trained staff constantly optimizes the operation of the energy centre. Together, these measures are estimated to reduce the energy consumption of the customer buildings by 20% to 30%. Community energy has the ability to substitute alternative energy sources (i.e. bio-energy) and combined heat and power, thereby drastically cutting GHG emissions. Energy production systems located in residential or commercial buildings have limited potential for economic efficiency improvements, typically no possibility of fuel switching, and limited input from operating staff. Without continued input and adjustments from professionally trained staff, even the best designed systems have a minimal chance of achieving design efficiencies. Therefore, any technology installed in a new building today is likely to become sub-optimal relative to contemporary standards well before the end of the building life. In contrast, state-ofthe-art technology is routinely retrofitted to CES, sometimes involving drastic changes to the energy source mix in order to adapt to a changing world.

3.3

Stable energy costs

The higher efficiency of the CES means that customers are less exposed to fluctuating fuel commodity market prices. Further strategic price protection is provided in the long-term by the ability to switch fuels, or to retrofit improved technology in response to emerging opportunities.

3.4

Simplified building design & reduced building cost

The replacement of building heating equipment, such as boilers and furnaces, with simple heat exchangers saves money, space and complexity in building design. Greater architectural freedom of design is achieved (i.e. in the use of roofs for gardens, decks or terraces), resulting in greater available outdoor space. The question of exactly where to place air intakes in relation to stacks is no longer an issue. The exact amount of space saved varies but, as an example, a typical multi-unit residential building (MURB) with 200 units could potentially save up to 30 m2 of indoor space. This space can in turn be converted to developable space, and possibly another 15 m2 on the roof, depending on the type and location of exhaust stacks and/or heat rejection equipment. Natural gas can be eliminated from buildings for heating. Out-sourcing of the energy conversion duty of HVAC systems (i.e. those functional parts subject to high temperatures, high torque in compressors, etc.) greatly reduces both the cost and risks associated with installation, commissioning, on-going maintenance and breakdowns.

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3.5

Community energy - green, clean & safe

Community energy is green and clean relative to the status quo because it produces fewer emissions. The emissions that are produced can be carefully regulated, monitored, filtered, and controlled. Also, flue stacks are eliminated from individual buildings. Reducing imports of natural gas and electricity to the neighborhood reduces the global environmental footprint and allows the community greater opportunity to be self-sufficient and sustainable. Community energy is a safe energy service which eliminates the need for natural gas service or mains on property. With the exclusion of natural gas, this in turn removes the in-building combustion process and the associated emissions, and other safety risks associated with combustion.

3.6

Community energy - higher quality service

Community energy provides reliable and efficient means of maintaining both indoor air temperature and humidity at comfortable levels, while also allowing good ventilation. Building residents no longer suffer the noise, emissions, vibration, safety, repair issues and maintenance issues created by operating mechanical equipment distributed throughout their living space. Although fan-coils may still be used, they are much quieter during operation than the compressors used in heat pumps and furnaces.

4. Commonly Asked Questions 4.1

How community energy works in Strathcona County?

Strathcona County Utilities has one community energy system in Centre in the Park (CITP) located in Sherwood Park. Customers include County Hall, Festival Place and Festival Estates (Christenson Developments) to name a few. Future developments in Strathcona County are proposed to be heated by hot water supplied through direct buried pre-insulated pipes, to be supplied from one or more energy centres. The energy centre may employ different means to heat the water. This will evolve over time in response to changing circumstances. Such changes would be more difficult during the status quo heating arrangement as they would entail disruptive retrofits to hundreds of individual residential buildings. Strathcona County has considered many new alternative energy sources in their planning, e.g. waste heat from refinery row, local agricultural residues, and even municipally generated P a g e |9


residues. The objective is to utilize “waste” or “low-cost” fuels that are local and sustainable to create heat energy and reduce environmental impacts – this objective is enabled through the use of CES.

4.2

How will community energy change my building design?

In general, building design will become simpler and easier. Thermal energy will be directly delivered to the buildings via underground hot water piping, thereby eliminating boilers, furnaces, hot water heaters, and all associated equipment. Being tied into the community energy system, you will be required to heat your buildings using hot water (hydronic) heating. The county Utilities department will provide support and guidance regarding building HVAC system design so as to get the most benefit from community energy. Strathcona Utilities will design and install the necessary piping, heat exchangers and associated controls and energy meters to interface with the buildings. Usually referred to as the energy transfer station (ETS), this equipment will be located inside the customer building. The ETS will be located in the basement or the ground floor, and generally will take up only 20% of the space of the equipment it displaces. If buildings share underground parking garages, the service entry point can sometimes be shared.

4.3

How much will it cost?

The capital cost of the CES will be financed from a mix of government funds and rate recovery from customers. Community energy charges will be competitive with the status-quo cost of heating.

4.4

Who will own the CES and bill customers?

Strathcona County Utilities will own the CES. An experienced operator will run the CES, and Strathcona Utilities will bill customers directly. Customers will include owners of new buildings in the County, including condominium corporations.

4.5

Can buildings still employ on-site renewable energy?

The CES will supply all of the heating needs of the building. However, it is not intended to prevent buildings from using renewable energy on-site. Renewable energy is defined in the energy services agreement (see Section 5). Heat pumps are not classified as renewable energy.

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4.6

Will community energy affect my building’s LEED Certification?

Generally community energy and the LEED process share many of the same principals and objectives. The Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building Rating System™ recognizes excellent design, construction and operation of green buildings. The four levels of certification (certified, silver, gold and platinum) reflect overall scores based on independently reviewed ratings in five areas: sustainable site development, water efficiency, energy efficiency, materials selection and indoor environmental quality. The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) created a work group to develop a guidance document to assist designers in incorporating district energy (another term for central energy) in LEED applications. In early 2008, this work group completed and released to the public its first District Energy Guidance Document, titled “Required Treatment of District Thermal Energy in LEED-NC version 2.2 and LEED for Schools, Version 1.0.” Since that time the USGBC has produced two additional guidance documents in draft format to assist designers. The first new guidance document is titled “Required Treatment of District Energy in LEED 2009, Version 1.0.” The second is an update of the original “Required Treatment of District Thermal Energy in LEED-NC version 2.2 and LEED for Schools, Version 1.0.”

4.7

Additional questions

Question 1:

Do I need my own boilers?

Answer 1:

No. The community energy service is considered utility grade and has redundancy in capacity and mechanisms in place to deal with upset conditions.

Question 2:

Who pays for the connecting piping to my building?

Answer 2:

The Community Energy service provider pays for and owns the piping installation into your building plus the Energy Transfer Station. We are considering the concept of construction contribution for the ETS. We still own the unit but the customer buys down the capacity charge.

Question 3:

What is the temperature and pressure of the water?

Answer 3:

The community heating system is designed for a maximum operating pressure of 16 bar (230 psig) and a maximum operating temperature of 120°C (250°F).

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Question 4:

How deep are the pipes installed?

Answer 4:

A minimum backfill depth of 600 mm (2 ft) is required as cover above the top of the pipe. The recommended cover depth is 900 mm (3 ft). With these depths in mind, the pipes are designed to withstand the anticipated surface loads applied above the piping, including those resulting from road crossings.

Question 5:

Will the pipelines increase the soil temperature, and will this affect my trees?

Answer 5:

Trees in urban areas are exposed to many stress factors such as salt, air pollution, etc. An increase in soil temperature is also a stress factor. Typically “old� trees have difficulties with a change in conditions, while young/new trees adjust more easily to a change in living conditions. General rules of thumb for installation of district heating pipes suggest a minimum distance of 2m between trees and district heating pipes and/or outside the crown of the tree.

5. Contractual Relationships 5.1

Contract with CES

There will be a thermal energy contract between the developer / building owner and Strathcona County Utilities – the Energy Services Agreement (ESA). Each building owner will be a customer of the CES for thermal energy. Strathcona County Utilities will own and operate the CES. The ESA will secure long-term (usually 20 year) commitments from the developer / building owner to take the thermal energy, and from the CES to deliver the required capacity at a defined price. The ESA for each building will specify the capacity of heating to be provided, the price, and other service conditions such as easements and performance standards. The key terms of the ESA will be very similar for all customers. The differences will be mainly in the address, service commencement date, heating capacity to be supplied, and pricing as it is related to the size and use of the building and year in-service. Since the thermal capacity required by a customer building will influence the charges that the customer will pay for community energy, it is in the economic interest of the building owner that the building thermal capacity be set at a realistic level while ensuring the ETS and piping infrastructure has sufficient capacity to service the building. On the other hand, the utility wants to be fairly compensated for the capacity demanded by each building and does not wish to commit excessive capacity to any building. Therefore, both P a g e | 12


parties have reason to co-operate in establishing the capacity of thermal demand for each building at a realistic level. All ESA’s have condition precedents to the commencement of heating service, e.g. the building must be designed and constructed for connection, and the corresponding easements are to be provided. The ESA requires customers to allow the CES owner and operator access to the CES equipment located on the customer’s property, which will be specified on drawings that will attached to the ESA. All ESA’s include assignment clauses so that all future owners of the buildings will become parties to the agreement. Condominium corporations as building owners will become customers. Similar to the current practice for electricity, the condominium corporation will pay the CES bill for the whole condo complex. The ESA for buildings that will become condominium corporations will contain clauses that provide for the assumption of the ESA by the condominium corporation.

5.2

Billing and cost of service

Strathcona Utilities will be responsible for the installation and operation of the ETS metering and measure the total thermal energy supplied to each building. They will in turn submit monthly bills to each building owner for CES service. The building owners then allocate the bills to the individual units within each building as they see fit. Customer bills will have a fixed portion of the bill, and a variable portion. The line items will be as shown: 1. Energy Charge - Consumption – this is a variable charge based on actual energy use reading per billing period for space heating and domestic hot water usage. 2. Capacity Charge – this is a fixed capacity charge, which is based on the design load of the building. 3. Franchise Fee – similar to all other utilities, this is a flow through tax from the municipality. 4. Tax - The tax shown on the bill is the 5% GST in Alberta. The fixed capacity charge is based on the capital that the building owner would have spent on providing the status quo heating requirements of the building. It also covers fixed costs such as non-commodity operation, maintenance and capital recovery costs. This charge is be related to the heating capacity required by the customer.

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5.3

Building developer vs. CES resident

Typically in the development of a community energy system there is the allowance for one ETS per parcel, and hence one energy meter per parcel. Sub-metering of individual units may be available at an extra cost. A key assumption is that the domestic hot water (DHW) is centralized in a building mechanical room, or for a parcel in a central spot.

6. CES Description The community energy system provides the thermal energy needs for each building. The CES consists of three main components: 1. Central energy centre (CEC) 2. Distribution piping system (DPS) 3. Energy transfer stations (ETS)

6.1

Central energy centre (CEC)

The central energy centre will be the source of the thermal energy. Hot water will initially be produced using hot water boilers, employing high quality design features that optimize efficiency. The production equipment and controls currently envisioned will be state-of-the-art, based on the best of today’s commercially proven technology. Other base-loaded energy conversion technologies will be continually evaluated as emerging opportunities present themselves. Noise and emissions will comply with all regulatory requirements and, of course, will be confined to the one location. Prior to final commissioning of the building, all of the thermal energy that will be needed will be available through the CES, from either temporary or permanent facilities.

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Photo of Community Energy Centre in CITP – located on Sherwood Drive, Sherwood Park

6.2

Distribution piping system (DPS)

The distribution piping system will employ two pipes providing closed loops for hot water supply and return to the CEC. The loops comprise a mix of buried piping installed in right of ways, as well as interior piping run through the parking garages of each block which bring the service into each building. Pipe flow will be maintained utilizing variable speed pumps controlled by the design differential pressure at the end of the loop. A typical trench cross-section of the buried distribution piping is illustrated below. Photo of typical DPS Entry into Building

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Approximate design supply and return temperatures of the CES distribution system for heating are noted in the following tables. Supply temperature set points will be reset by outside air temperature. Return temperatures are maintained by controls on the ETS. CES Primary Heating Loop Temperatures

Temperature

Winter

Summer

Supply Return Difference (∆T)

95°C 50°C 45°C

65°C 45°C 20°C

Achieving a high T is important to minimize the CES capital cost of providing a given level of capacity. Low heating return temperatures are important for the optimal use of renewable and low grade heat sources.

6.3

Energy transfer station (ETS)

Each building or block of buildings will have its own energy transfer station (ETS) that will replace the typical boiler or furnace. The key components of ETS generally include: 1. Branch lines from the main distribution headers, i.e. two (2) pipes for the supply and return of hot water 2. Shut-off valves 3. Controls to regulate the flow required to meet the building’s energy demand and maintain the CES return temperatures 4. Thermal energy meter 5. Separate heat exchangers for domestic hot water (DHW) and space heating. The usual location of the ETS is in the basement, but they may be located on the ground floor. As shown in the flow schematic below, the primary flow though the ETS is controlled to achieve the design supply temperature to the building on the secondary side, i.e. on the building internal hydronic system. There will also be a limiter on the building secondary return temperature that can override the ETS flow to maintain the required return temperature on the CES thermal distribution system. This should not noticeably impact the building HVAC system unless it has a serious problem that needs attention. This is a way the CES helps customers monitor their building operation.

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Schematic of Typical Energy Transfer System

Photo of space savings of heat exchanger when compared with NG fired Boiler

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The thermal energy metering system is an important component of the ETS. Thermal energy meters consist of volume meters, temperature sensors on both supply and return, and a calculator, which also contains a data logger, as illustrated in the following diagram. The energy meters will meet the accuracy requirements of CSA C900 Heat Meters. The energy meter will collect data on cumulative volume in cubic meters (m3), cumulative energy in megawatt-hours thermal (MWht), thermal power demand in kilowatts thermal (kWt), flow rate in m3/hour, supply and return temperatures and temperature difference (ď „T). The data from each meter will be transmitted periodically to a central CES computer. This periodic data will be used for billing and trouble-shooting. Typical Energy Meter Installation

7. Technical Requirements for Buildings The following sub-sections outline the technical requirements and identify the responsibilities of both the developer and the owner of the community energy system (CES) to ensure that all new buildings are designed and constructed in a way that is beneficial to connection to the CES.

7.1

HVAC systems – developer prime responsibility

The building developers will be responsible for designing and installing their HVAC systems. There will be some differences from, and similarities with, conventional systems as explained below. The following conventional building elements will not be installed with a community energy connection: P a g e | 18


1. Boilers, furnaces, heat pumps, domestic hot water heaters or any heat production equipment 2. Auxiliaries to heating systems such as stacks 3. Natural gas service for heating equipment

As with any building not connected to community energy the building will still require internal thermal distribution systems including: 1. Internal distribution pumps 2. Internal distribution piping 3. Heating elements (i.e. fan-coil units and/or perimeter or radiant heating)

The following are some design conditions that are specific to community energy: 1. The building will host an ETS and branch lines from the DPS as mentioned earlier and described further below. 2. Whereas buildings not connected to CES may or may not have hydronic systems, buildings connected to modern CES are always hydronic. 3. The CES will operate most effectively and efficiently with the use of low temperatures in the building heating systems. The building secondary side temperatures, listed in the table below, should be considered to be the maximum allowable at design with appropriate outdoor air temperature reset. Building HVAC Heating Temperatures in Relation to CES

Temperature Supply Return Difference (∆T)

CES Primary Loop Temperatures

Building Secondary Side Temperatures

Winter

Summer

Winter

Summer

95°C 50°C 45°C

65°C 45°C 20°C

70°C 45°C 25°C

50°C 40°C 10°C

Domestic hot water will be supplied through a separate heat exchanger with similar primary supply and return temperatures and a domestic hot water supply temperature of 60°C. The maximum pressure rating on both primary and secondary heating will be 1,600 kPag. Lower pressure ratings on the building side are acceptable and should be determined by the building HVAC designer. P a g e | 19


Design strategies for achieving the specified building secondary side temperatures are outlined in Section 8. Strathcona Utility will provide a peer review of each building HVAC design, but will not be responsible for the design, which will be executed by the building owner. The owner of the CES will make suggestions as deemed necessary for achieving the required temperature profiles. Since a CES can be only as good as the building HVAC systems allow, the HVAC design must ultimately integrate well with the system.

7.2

ETS connection – CES prime responsibility

The CES will design, install, operate and maintain the ETS at a location to be determined by the CES, subject to reasonable accommodation with the building design, after consulting with the builder. They will be located in the basement or at grade, no more than 15 meters from the service entry, and in a heated and ventilated space, kept within a temperature range of 15-30°C. Space required for the ETS varies with circumstances. For example, in a building with a floor area of approximately 20,000 m2 the space required for the ETS might be approximately 10 m2. The CES will require easements to install and maintain the ETS. The CES will produce the required drawings during detailed design and these will be incorporated in the Energy Services Agreement (ESA) between the CES and the building owner. The building contractor will connect the building HVAC system to the load side of the ETS at demarcation points that distinguish the builders’ responsibility from the CES responsibility. The demarcation points will be generally at the first flange on the load side of heat exchangers and more specifically defined on drawings that become part of the ESA.

7.3

Building branch connections – CES prime responsibility

The CES will install, own and maintain the primary distribution piping inside the building up to the ETS. To give an illustrative order of magnitude of size, there will be two pipes, (supply and return), the size of branch lines will vary depending on the building load. Insulation for CES pipes inside buildings is normally installed on-site. Easements will be required for installation and maintenance of the service entries and branch connections. The CES will submit drawings of the required easements to the developer, after consultation with the developers’ architects and engineers.

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8. Technical Requirements for Hydronic Systems 8.1

Introduction

This section provides technical information for hydronic space heating and domestic hot water systems for construction of new multi-unit residential developments (condominiums, apartments) in Strathcona County. The design information provided in this specification should be regarded as general guidelines only, and the developer’s mechanical engineer shall be responsible for the final (building specific) design.

8.2

Pumping and control strategy

The building heating system shall be designed for variable volume flow operation (preferably with variable speed pumps to minimize the pumping power). All control valves (terminal units and zone valves) to be of 2-way modulating (or on/off for fancoil units) type. Three–way valves that allow flow to by-pass the heating or cooling elements are not permitted as they result in lower T, hence lower system capacity. The secondary supply temperature (from the ETS) shall be reset based on outside air temperature.

8.3 8.3.1

Hydronic heating and DHW systems (minimum) requirements Hydronic (space) heating

The hot water (hydronic) heating system shall be designed to provide the space heating and ventilation air heating requirements for the individual suites, hallways/stairwells and other common areas in the building, supplied from a central Energy Transfer Station (ETS) location within the building or block. Hot water generated by the ETS shall be distributed, via a 2-pipe (direct return) piping system, to the various heating elements (sinks) throughout the building. The building (secondary) heating system shall be designed according to the design temperatures specified below. The specified differential temperature (T) shall be regarded as a minimum requirement, and larger T is desirable to further reduce the pipe sizes and associated valves, fittings, etc., and pumping requirements in the secondary system. The building return temperatures must be kept to a minimum to allow the central energy system to take advantage of alternate energy efficient technologies. P a g e | 21


Three typical heating configurations are as follows: 

Option 1 – Radiant Heating with Make-up Air Units

Option 2 – Perimeter Heating with Make-up Air Units

Option 3 – Fan Coil Unit Heating with Make-up Air Units

1. Hydronic radiant (under-floor) floor heating Radiant floor heating provides the best opportunity to heat a building using the lowest grade energy streams. The radiant floor heating shall be provided by PEX tubing installed within the floor structure just below the surface. The floor heating shall be designed for the following temperatures: (HWS = hot water supply, HWR = hot water return). Secondary System

HWS:

45°C

Secondary System

HWR:

35°C

2. Fin type baseboard convectors / perimeter radiators The radiant (transmission) heating requirements shall be provided by 2 pass commercial fin type radiators or perimeter style radiant panels (European style) mounted on the perimeter of the (outside) walls. The baseboard convectors and perimeter wall mounted radiant panels shall be designed for the following temperatures:

Convectors Secondary System Convectors Secondary System

HWS: HWR:

70°C 55°C

Radiators Secondary System Radiators Secondary System

HWS: HWR:

60°C 45°C

3. Fancoil Units Packaged fan coil units designed with hot water coils mounted on the inside walls can be used to provide individual unit heating. The fan coil units shall be designed for a minimum of a two row coil and the following temperatures:

Secondary System HWS: Secondary System HWR:

60°C 45°C

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4. Ventilation make-up air units The ventilation (make-up air) requirements shall be provided by one (or several) air handling units designed with hot water/glycol heating coils. The coils shall be provided with freeze protection circuits. The heating coils shall be designed for the following temperatures:

Secondary System HWS: Secondary System HWR: 8.3.2

65째C 45째C

Domestic hot water

The domestic hot water (DHW) system shall be designed to provide all DHW requirements for the individual suites, and for all common areas in the building, supplied from a (dedicated) ETS location within the building. The DHW system is to be designed for instantaneous heating or preferably with storage tanks in accordance with the design temperature specified below. The DHW distribution systems are to be designed with re-circulation lines and pumps. Domestic Systems

DHW:

60째C

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Appendix E - Vital Engineering Corp. Study – Scope of Work

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50 27


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Appendix F - Blank Screening Tool Evaluation Criteria Sustainability

Yes No

Notes

Does the project meet Strathcona County’s overall sustainability goals? Does the project result in GHG reductions for the community? How much? Does the project use or have the ability to use an alternative technology or fuel source? Provide details. Does the project contribute to waste diversion in Strathcona County? What is the expected diverted tonnage?

Operational Validation

Economic Verification

Does the project meet the Community Energy Ready Checklist? Does the project enhance the system and building efficiency? Is there stability, certainty of supply and flexibility of fuel source? Is the project economically viable for the County? Is the net present value (NPV) for the project business case acceptable? Is it greater or equal to zero? Is funding available for the project? Identify source of funds. Is the project cost equivalent for those residents that are directly connected to the system?

Guidance Required

Check the box that most applies and provide comments below.

Manageable Risks Proceed Confidently Completed by ________________________ Date _________________ Approved by _________________________ Date _________________

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Strathcona County Community Energy Strategy