District Energy at Sen̓áḵw
District energy is the centralized generation and distribution of thermal energy to a group of buildings within a neighborhood. The thermal energy is then delivered to customers through a network of interconnected underground pipes and heat exchangers at each building. District energy systems are designed to provide low-cost, low-carbon, and reliable heating to end users and offer considerable cost and space savings for developers and owners, while enabling exceptional environmental performance by significantly reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
In partnership with Creative Energy, the Squamish Nation is developing a zero-emission district heating and cooling system for Sen̓áḵw. The district energy system will leverage sewer heat recovery as a low-carbon source of thermal energy by extracting heat from one of Metro Vancouver's nearby sewer trunk mains.
Creative Energy's innovative district energy system will capture heat from the underground wastewater, extracting and reusing the energy through utility-scale heat pumps to distribute across the nearly four-million square foot development. The district energy system is expected to eliminate 140,000 tons of GHG emissions over 30 years compared to natural gas heating - the equivalent of 2.2M tree seedlings grown for 10 years. The system is designed with capacity to expand over time, to accommodate plans to serve neighbouring buildings and interconnect with Creative Energy's downtown Vancouver network.
The completed project will allow Sen̓áḵw to become the largest carbon neutral rental development in Canada.