Supporting Edmonton’s Energy Transition through the development of a City-wide District Energy Vision and Strategy

By on December 16th, 2021 in Uncategorized
The City of Edmonton (Alex Pugliese on Unsplash)

Edmonton is the fifth largest city in Canada.  In 2019, the City signed the Edmonton Declaration, a bold call for global mayors to lead action on climate change. The Edmonton Declaration was co-developed by Edmonton’s Mayor Iveson and the Global Covenant of Mayors, with input from the Federation of Canadian Municipalities, United Cities and Local Governments, C40 and the ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability. The Edmonton Declaration commits the City to a remaining carbon budget of 155 million tonnes of CO2e starting on January 1, 2019. 

One of the pathways identified in Edmonton’s updated Community Energy Transition Strategy to support this goal is a Renewable and Resilient Energy Transition that envisions 100% emission neutral electricity and heating by 2050.  This pathway includes development of new low-carbon district energy networks throughout the City. 

In early 2020, Reshape was engaged by the City to identify, evaluate and prioritize new district energy (DE) opportunities and to support the development of a City-wide DE development strategy. Kerr Wood Leidal and TorchLight Bioresources supported our work.

Some key outcomes from this initial engagement include: 

  • A list of priority areas for DE development;  through data analysis and visualization, based on the City Plan, existing building gas use, low-carbon energy opportunities, and other publicly available data.
  • A review of existing and proposed policies to support the development of DE in Edmonton. 
  • A vision for a “City-wide low-carbon district energy system” to fulfil the goals of the City’s Community Energy Transition Strategy.
  • A workplan for advancing DE development in Edmonton, including near term and long term actions.

During the course of this assignment, Reshape was engaged by the City to conduct a detailed feasibility study of district energy system for the River Crossing neighbourhood and to advise the City on negotiations related to a new DE system in downtown.

In August 2022, the City of Edmonton released their DE Strategy, which was informed by the aforementioned work completed by Reshape in 2019 and 2020.

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