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Heat and power plant proposed for St. Paul’s Hospital in Saskatoon

WATCH ABOVE: A cogeneration system at St. Paul’s Hospital would lower annual greenhouse gas emissions.

A $3-million heat and power plant could be installed at St. Paul’s Hospital in Saskatoon to lower greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, according to a city administration report.

The system uses natural gas to create electricity and heat at the same time, creating fewer GHG emissions than if both are produced separately, the report said.

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The process is known as cogeneration.

The plant would consist of two 555 kilowatt-hour generators housed inside an enclosure roughly the size of a 12-metre shipping container with piping on its roof.

Annual GHG reductions over the plant’s 15-year lifespan would be the equivalent of taking 723 cars off the road, according to administration.

Electricity would be produced for Saskatoon Light & Power, while the thermal energy would be used throughout the St. Paul’s heating systems, Jose Cheruvallath, the city’s metering & sustainable electricity manager wrote in the report.

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Saskatoon Light & Power purchases bulk power from SaskPower before it’s moved through substations, distribution lines and transformers in Saskatoon. With the hospital plant creating electricity, it would lessen the amount of power bought from SaskPower.

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After 8.5 years, the savings will have covered the costs, the Cheruvallath said.

The report goes before Saskatoon city council on Monday. Administration recommends the capital project be created, with the City of Saskatoon and Saskatchewan Health Authority each paying nearly $950,000. The parties would share ownership and maintenance costs.

The federal government has committed to paying 40 per cent of the total project cost – just under $1.2 million.