New technology at the Collicutt Centre is expected to lower operating costs and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
By early November, the recreation centre will be one of the first facilities in Alberta using ATCO Gas’s combined heat and power (CHP) unit. It will produce both heat and electricity for the 250,000-square-foot facility.
ATCO Gas will install, own and maintain the 280-kilowatt unit. The city will be on the hook for the 15-year lease of the equipment. At the end of the lease, ATCO will sell the equipment to the city for $1.
The company estimates that the CHP unit, combined with its waste-heat recovery technology, will save the facility nearly $35,000 per year in utility costs over the life of the project, while reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by up to 800 tonnes per year.
That’s the equivalent of taking 160 cars off the road annually.
Kay Kenny, the city’s recreation superintendent, said the city is excited to partner with ATCO Gas on this initiative and be one of the first to test the new technology.
“When you have a large body of water to absorb the heat and save it so it can be used in other parts of the building, it is like water is a heat sink,” said Kenny. “That’s why the swimming pools are a great place to do this kind of equipment.”
Kenny said the city considered the Recreation Centre and the G.H. Dawe Centre and decided to go ahead with an individual building in the end.
“We knew it would be the greatest savings and the best pilot,” she said. “It wasn’t quite ideal for the other two facilities. However, when we look at future facilities such as the (proposed) 50-metre pool, it would be the perfect opportunity to look at this type of technology from the get go.”
The CHP program, funded in part by the Climate Change and Emissions Management Corporation (CCEMC), is suited to facilities with a year-round heating requirement including recreation, senior or medical centres and institutions.
ATCO Gas will install several more CHP units in facilities across Alberta over the next two years. The CCEMC is an Alberta-based not-for-profit organization that provides funding for projects that reduce GHG emissions and help Alberta adapt to climate change. The organization has $65 million in funding available to support new projects.