False Creek Neighbourhood Energy Utility (NEU) in Vancouver will use five more wastewater energy transfer (WET) systems, provided by SHARC Energy, to increase the capacity of the current WET system—making it the largest such project in North America, leading to far less carbon emissions.
The NEU targets 70 per cent of its energy supply to come from renewable energy sources, with a goal of 100 per cent renewable energy by 2030 as a part of the Climate Emergency Action Plan. The utility is self-funded, simultaneously providing affordable rates to customers and a return on investment to city taxpayers.
Upon completion in 2023, the five new systems will increase the capacity of the current 3.2MW of WET system employed by the utility to 9.8MW, which will result in additional carbon emission reduction of an estimated 4400 tonnes (4850 ton) a year.
The False Creek NEU began operation in 2010 and uses waste thermal energy captured from sewage water (using SHARC’s system) to provide 70 per cent of its space heating and hot water to more than 600,000 m2 (60 million sf) of residential, commercial, and institutional space. In accordance with the 2018 NEU expansion plan, the False Creek NEU will continue to expand to serve more than 1.9 million m2 (20 million sf) of new development.
In 2020, the emissions from Commercial and Residential buildings were responsible for 13 per cent of the total greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in North America, as well as burning fossil fuels for space heating accounts for the largest share of these emissions—which can be eliminated using the WET system. SHARC’s wastewater to energy transfer technology is used in apartment complexes, district energy systems, and commercial buildings (hospitals, micro-breweries and distilleries, commercial laundry, community activity centres). This technology will play an important role in improving energy efficiency and meeting climate goals.