The federal government is giving a financial boost to one of the University of British Columbia’s (UBC) climate action initiatives. The District Waste Heat Recovery Project received $974,000 in funding to install heat recovery systems that will reduce the university’s reliance on natural gas.
“The new heat recovery systems will improve the efficiency of UBC’s Bioenergy Research Demonstration Facility, which is currently being upgraded to produce up to 70 per cent of the Vancouver campus’ thermal energy using clean, locally sourced wood waste,” said Santa J. Ono, president and vice-chancellor of UBC. “The new heat recovery systems will reduce UBC’s emissions by over 1,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide annually.”
Over the lifespan of the project, UBC will see a cumulative reduction of about 14,600 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions. The university will also save around $1 million in heating costs annually, according to Environment and Climate Change Canada.
The new system will redirect the heat recovered to the campus’s hot-water district energy system, which supplies the majority of its buildings with heat and hot water.
“Our government will continue to invest in projects that support clean energy in educational institutions like the University of British Columbia so that students can live and work in cleaner, more sustainable environments for generations to come,” said Jonathan Wilkinson, minister of environment and climate change.
The funding comes from the federal government’s Low Carbon Economy Challenge, which invests in projects that reduce carbon pollution, save money and create jobs.