Feds award $2.6 billion contract to upgrade heating, cooling plants in Ottawa
June 10, 2019 | By Jillian Morgan
A consortium has been selected to modernize the aging district energy system used to heat and cool more than 80 structures in the city
Innovate Energy inked a $2.6 billion contract June 4 to design, build and maintain a new district energy system in Ottawa.
The federal government tapped the consortium — comprising PCL Constructors Canada Inc., PCL Investments Canada Inc., Black & McDonald Ltd., and Engie Services Inc. — to modernize the aging infrastructure used to heat and cool more than 80 structures in the city, including the Parliament Buildings.
The current system, built between 50 and 100 years ago, connects to central plants using more than 14 kilometres of underground piping to provide heating by steam and cooling by chilled water.
Along with design partners BBB Architects Ottawa and WSP Canada, the design-build team will convert the existing system to low-temperature hot water for heating and electric chillers for cooling.
The project also includes building and decommissioning plants and upgrading existing facilities in Ottawa and Gatineau, QC. Construction is slated to wrap up in 2025.
“This project will be one of the country’s most significant projects to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, save operational costs, and improve safety,” said Tony Cook, construction manager at PCL Constructors Canada Inc.
Part of the federal government’s Energy Services Acquisition Program, the project also includes the use of smart building technology to “pinpoint opportunities for better energy efficiency.”
Carbon neutral fuels such as biomass and boil-oil will be tested to replace natural gas and other fossil fuels.
The federal government plans to expand the network from 80 buildings to upwards of 600 in the future.