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Waste heat to warm buildings at Western U

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Western University plans to recover waste heat from its power plant and use it in other buildings, while shifting from steam to low-temperature heating systems.

A $11.6 million provincial grant through the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Program from the Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Development, will help the facility achieve this in two buildings: Spencer Engineering and the Claudette MacKay-Lassonde Pavillion.

“By shifting to a low-temperature system, we can introduce a much wider range of renewable and recaptured energy sources,” Lynn Logan, vice-president of operations and finance, said in a press release. “These environmental investments will result in a 12 per cent reduction in emissions from our 2016 levels at an estimated cost savings of $1.5 million annually.”

Proposed upgrades have the potential to reduce the amount of steam required for heating and improve efficiencies in Western’s central power plant, reducing the amount of natural gas used for generating steam and chilled water.

“We want to use waste heat to heat Western’s buildings,” says Paul Martin, director of business operations at Western. “Once this project is completed, heat recovery technology and renewable energy systems will be integrated throughout our campus, dramatically reducing our future carbon emissions.”

Construction at the Spencer Engineering Building will start in July 2018 and will be completed in March 2019.

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