Township of Woolwich – Combined Heat & Power System


In May 2020, the Township of Woolwich, Grand River Energy (GRE) and Arcadian Projects Inc. (AP) integrated a new combined heat and power (CHP) system at the Woolwich Memorial Centre in Elmira. The Centre is home to two (2) NHL size ice pads, two pools, a fitness centre, a walking track and a community centre.

The new CHP displaces hot water traditionally produced in natural gas boilers, as well as grid, supplied electricity.  Grid supplied electricity is produced with an overall efficiency of less than 30% by the time it arrives at an electricity users meter.  At the same time, commercial boilers often operate at a seasonal efficiency of only 70%.  With a properly sized CHP, thermal energy and electricity are delivered at over 80% efficiency on a seasonal basis.

As a result of the overall high efficiency of the properly sized CHP, there are resulting Greenhouse Gas emission savings because, during peak electricity tin Ontario, a significant amount of “simple – cycle” natural gas power plants produce electricity with very low efficiency.  One of the driving forces behind the project is a commitment both the Township and GRE have to reduce overall greenhouse gases in Ontario through sustainable projects.

Though this project has been in the works for a few years, in general, sustainable projects such as a CHP take approximately 1 year to organize and execute – an advantageous timeline to start realizing energy benefits

This project allowed the Township of Woolwich to experience significant benefits with minimal risk that helped drive the project forward, such as:

  • No capital injection was required on the Township’s part

  • No 3rd party consulting fees nor extensive staffing needs; as a trusted partner, GRE provided the expertise and upfront costs

  • The Township is contributing to reducing the Province’s overall greenhouse gases

  • The project provides significant energy savings to the Township and overall operating cost reduction over its 20-year life

  • The Township benefits from the construction expertise of GRE and Arcadian Projects; both of whom are experts at designing, building and installing energy projects such as this from end to end, or “gas to wires” and everything in between

  • Full ownership and title transfer to the Township at the end of the contract term with GRE

The move is expected to save the township about $90,000 a year in energy and maintenance costs, which is about 22.5 per cent less than the current cost to provide heat and power to the facility.


Woolwich Memorial Centre in Elmira

Project Ownership:
Grand River Energy in partnership with the Township of Woolwich

“We’re trying to be good environmental stewards. The new system should reduce the township’s carbon dioxide output by 189 tonnes, equivalent to taking 41 cars off the road.

Ann McArthur
Director of Facilities | Woolwich Township