The City of Oshawa is moving forward with efforts to reduce greenhouse gases.
It’s teamed up with Oshawa Power to implement a new 600-kilowatt combined heat and power plant, which will be installed at the Delpark Homes Centre.
It will save the energy equivalent of 4,000 homes over its lifetime, the city said in a press release.
Deputy mayor Bob Chapman says the generator will provide “more efficient heating and cooling and less costly electrical prices, at the same time reducing our greenhouse gas emissions.”
The initiative, approved by council, has been a top priority for a while.
“From the council perspective, we’ve taken a position to say what we’re doing in areas like this and other areas, we have to have that environmental lens on it,” Chapman said.
That sentiment was echoed by Durham regional chair John Henry.
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“It’s an entirely new way of how we’re going to deal with the challenges of the future related to climate,” he said.
The power plant will be fuelled by natural gas. Although it is not 100 per cent renewable energy, it will be able to generate electricity and heat simultaneously.
It will also generate its own backup heat and electricity during a power outage.
“It’s a lower carbon footprint than it may otherwise be with just natural gas boilers, so it just makes common sense and it’s smart,” Oshawa Power’s CEO Ivano Labricciosa said.
The project isn’t just smart for its energy efficiencies, but for the city’s economic savings as well.
“The city can actually have an emergency shelter without actually putting the investment in,” Labricciosa said.
“It does create economic winds for them on both the price they pay for gas, because we’re buying in larger bulk and volume, than they would otherwise buy for this particular centre.”
The $3-million investment will be owned, operated and maintained by Oshawa Power. The system is expected to be up and running by the end of this year. City officials say it will have a lifetime of seven to eight years before it has to be replaced.