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TRU plans district energy system for campus

DCN-JOC News Services
TRU plans district energy system for campus
THOMPSON RIVERS UNIVERSITY - A rendering shows the design of a district energy system being planned for Thompson Rivers University in Kamloops.

KAMLOOPS, B.C. – A B.C. school is partnering with energy experts to develop a district energy system for its campus.

Thompson Rivers University (TRU) announced it will work with district energy experts Creative Energy to design, build, own and operate an on-campus district energy system for its main campus in Kamloops.

School officials anticipate the system will offset more than 100,000 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions over 30 years, the equivalent to planting a 4,000-acre forest, approximately 16 times the size of TRU’s Kamloops campus.

“This project is integral to TRU’s commitment to achieve carbon neutrality,” said Brett Fairbairn, TRU president and vice-chancellor, in a press release. “Partnering with Creative Energy, an experienced operator of district energy systems in British Columbia, is an excellent step to reaching this ambitious goal.”

School officials explained the new district energy project will tailor the design and delivery of clean energy to seamlessly integrate with existing campus buildings. Low-carbon energy will be provided by a two-stage air source and water source heat pump system, powered by renewable electricity from BC Hydro.

The project’s design will also feature a “living lab” to help students understand how state-of-the-art energy systems function.

Once connected to the district energy system’s low-carbon energy heat source, each building will have its existing natural-gas boilers decommissioned.

“Higher education institutions across North America have an opportunity to meaningfully respond to the realities of climate change,” said Krishnan Iyer, Creative Energy president and CEO. “We’re delighted to partner with TRU to renew their energy infrastructure, introduce district energy to the next generation of leaders and significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions.”

As a regulated public utility, Creative Energy will seek approval for the project from the BC Utilities Commission. The district energy system at TRU will be completed in phases, with the first phase energized by 2024 and offsetting 95 per cent of carbon emissions from the connected buildings.

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