We are now just seven years away from many energy- and climate-related goalposts. Governments from the municipal to federal level have set goals for 2030, as have many Canadian companies big and small, private and public.
The City of Vancouver’s False Creek Neighbourhood Energy Utility is one such organization continuing to make advancements toward its goal. The NEU’s personal goal is to have 100% of its energy supply come from renewable energy sources by 2030; currently it hovers around 70%.
The goal aligns with Vancouver’s Climate Emergency Action Plan, which in 2020 put Vancouver on track to reduce carbon pollution by 50% by 2030. This in turn is in alignment with findings from the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
Initiated in 2010, the False Creek NEU has seen consistent expansion and now serves more than 600,000 square metres of residential, commercial and institutional space including Science World and Emily Carr University. In accordance with a 2018 NEU expansion plan, the False Creek NEU will eventually serve nearly two million square metres of development across Southeast False Creek, Mount Pleasant, False Creek Flats, and Northeast False Creek.
The self-funded utility aims to provide affordable rates to customers and a return on investment to City taxpayers. For 2023, it has some help.
Port Coquitlam-based wastewater energy transfer firm SHARC International Systems recently announced a Supply and Maintenance Agreement with the City of Vancouver. The agreement will see SHARC Energy supply five wastewater energy transfer systems to support False Creek’s expansion.
“We are pleased the City of Vancouver has chosen SHARC Energy and its proprietary and worldwide patent-pending SHARC System to help the False Creek NEU and the City reach its renewable energy goals,” stated Lynn Mueller, SHARC Energy’s CEO, in December.
The expansion is expected to increase the capacity of the current system from 3.2MW to 9.8MW, according to a statement from the City of Vancouver. This makes it the largest wastewater energy transfer project in North America, notes SHARC, which says the system upgrade will be completed by the end of this year.
“This project is a crucial step forward to ensure the NEU can continue to provide reliable, cost effective, low-carbon energy to the growing network of connected buildings,” added City of Vancouver NEU Manager Derek Pope. “We are excited to be able to leverage the local innovation and expertise offered by SHARC.”
SHARC Energy first began working with the City in 2017 when it retrofitted two systems for the False Creek NEU as a pilot.
“We look forward to continued collaboration through this agreement as we work to transition away from fossil fuels to a more sustainable future,” said Pope.