PRINCE GEORGE, B.C. — The City of Prince George will soon start work at two sites downtown to add connections to the Downtown Renewable Energy System (DRES). After work is completed at 6th Ave. and 7th Ave. and George and on Quebec Street between 6th Ave. and 7th Ave., the system will provide heat for the city’s new parkade and its future new downtown pool.
The system distributes heat from Lakeland Mills to nearly a dozen downtown buildings, including City Hall, the Library, Two Rivers Gallery, the Wood Innovation and Design Centre and the RCMP detachment on Victoria Street.
Hot water heated by wood chips and shavings at the mill is circulated through more than three kilometres of underground pipes to provide the buildings with heat and hot water.
This month, city crews placed signs to inform residents of the upcoming closures without first informing adjacent businesses about the construction project. The city stated that it “regrets this oversight” and has delivered letters to the businesses with information about the project and apologies for the error. The city is also reviewing its processes relating to notification of capital projects.
The DRES is one of only a few municipal energy systems in Canada that primarily uses a renewable fuel source.
Planning for the new downtown pool indicates that simply connecting to the DRES for heating the building and the water in the pool tanks will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by nearly 95 per cent compared to using natural gas.
Construction is expected to start on May 1 and is scheduled to last for up to two weeks, depending upon the weather.