District Energy in the Downtown

The City of Mississauga is exploring the use of district energy systems to help us reach our climate goals in the Climate Change Action Plan. One area where we are considering district energy is Mississauga’s Downtown.

In 2013, the City completed a study that identified areas in the city suitable for district energy. The Downtown ranked the highest. As the study explained, there were a number of reasons for this ranking, including the downtown’s density and its significance.

For this reason, we included an action in our Climate Change Action Plan that commits the City to studying whether district energy is feasible for the Downtown. We are working on this action right now.

As a part of the study, we hosted public meetings in November 2021 and December 2022 to provide an overview of district energy and to the present the draft report of the Downtown feasibility study before it is finalized.

What is District Energy?

A district energy system uses a network of underground pipes to heat and cool buildings. There are four main parts:

  1. A central plant that produces hot and cold water
  2. Hot and cold water storage can be added to maximize efficiency
  3. Underground distribution pipes that carry hot and cold water to buildings
  4. Energy transfer stations in each building that use the water to heat and cool the building

Photo credit FVB Energy Inc.

Using a district energy system means that there is no need for boilers and chillers in every building. There are a number of benefits of district energy systems, including: more efficient heating and cooling, ability to take advantage of innovative, low-carbon energy sources and technologies at scale (e.g., biomass, waste heat recovery, geoexchange), and increased reliability.

The City of Mississauga is exploring the use of district energy systems to help us reach our climate goals in the Climate Change Action Plan. One area where we are considering district energy is Mississauga’s Downtown.

In 2013, the City completed a study that identified areas in the city suitable for district energy. The Downtown ranked the highest. As the study explained, there were a number of reasons for this ranking, including the downtown’s density and its significance.

For this reason, we included an action in our Climate Change Action Plan that commits the City to studying whether district energy is feasible for the Downtown. We are working on this action right now.

As a part of the study, we hosted public meetings in November 2021 and December 2022 to provide an overview of district energy and to the present the draft report of the Downtown feasibility study before it is finalized.

What is District Energy?

A district energy system uses a network of underground pipes to heat and cool buildings. There are four main parts:

  1. A central plant that produces hot and cold water
  2. Hot and cold water storage can be added to maximize efficiency
  3. Underground distribution pipes that carry hot and cold water to buildings
  4. Energy transfer stations in each building that use the water to heat and cool the building

Photo credit FVB Energy Inc.

Using a district energy system means that there is no need for boilers and chillers in every building. There are a number of benefits of district energy systems, including: more efficient heating and cooling, ability to take advantage of innovative, low-carbon energy sources and technologies at scale (e.g., biomass, waste heat recovery, geoexchange), and increased reliability.

Questions?

Please submit your questions on district energy here. We'll answer them here and during the educational sessions.


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  • Are other Canadian cities using district energy?

    over 1 year ago

    Yes, a number of Canadian cities are using district energy. This includes some cities close to home - like Markham, Toronto, Hamilton, Ottawa, and London. For example, the district energy system in Markham starting operating in 2000 and continues to grow today. Other Canadian cities using district energy include Calgary, Vancouver, Montreal, and Surrey.

  • Is district energy being considered in other parts of the city?

    over 1 year ago

    Yes, the developers of the Lakeview Village lands are considering district energy to heat and cool buildings at their development.

Page last updated: 13 Jan 2023, 02:13 PM