The Sapperton District Energy System, designed to capture heat from the sewer system and channel it through a network of pipes to provide space heating and water to homes and businesses in New Westminster, British Columbia, is getting closer to reality thanks to a new green collaboration between the City of New Westminster and the Metro Vancouver Regional District.
“Recovering heat from sewers allows us to harness a previously unused source of renewable energy, while reducing greenhouse gas emissions,” New Westminster Mayor Jonathan Coté said in a statement. Press release. “We are thrilled to partner with Metro Vancouver to move this project forward.
The Sapperton District Energy System is expected to provide affordable, low-carbon energy for new developments around Sapperton and Braid SkyTrain stations and along East Columbia Street, as well as the Royal Columbian Hospital expansion .
The sewer heat recovery project will recover low-quality energy from the nearby sanitary sewer trunk in Metro Vancouver using electric heat pumps to heat water for distribution to buildings.
A relatively new approach to district heating applications, the first example of a wastewater heat recovery system in North America was developed by the City of Vancouver, the Neighborhood Energy Utility, to serve its southeastern region of False Creek and False Creek Flats.
The Sapperton system will reduce carbon dioxide equivalent greenhouse gas emissions by approximately 8,600 tonnes per year compared to existing conventional heating sources and, over its lifetime, will reduce emissions by more than 125,000 tons.
Metro Vancouver has committed up to $18 million in funding for the Sapperton District Energy System and is actively exploring future opportunities to support a number of similar projects in the area.
New Westminster Council recently gave first reading of a new District Energy By-law, which will enable the Sapperton Project to be implemented. Additional funding from other levels of government is being sought to enable the project to move forward. The city and Fraser Health are also working to confirm the participation of the Royal Columbian Hospital as the primary user of the new system.