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:
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.