ative Energy doing to make its systems
more sustainable and less reliant on
traditional fuel sources?
KI: As I mentioned, we are already
starting to incorporate low-carbon energy
sources into some of our systems. It is
important to understand that sustainability does not only apply to environmental
standards; a project also needs to be sustainable in a financial sense for all parties.
Meeting environmental standards and
making a strong business case are not
mutually exclusive goals. You need to find
the sweet spot, and every project that we
are developing has this element. We partner with real estate developers and asset
managers to achieve these objectives.
MEETING ENVIRONMENTAL STANDARDS AND
MAKING A STRONG BUSINESS CASE ARE NOT
MUTUALLY EXCLUSIVE GOALS. YOU NEED TO
FIND THE SWEET SPOT.
QCreative Energy is a leader in innovative neighborhood energy
solutions. Can you tell us about a few
projects that illustrate your approach to
neighborhood energy development?
KI: I can give you three examples. The
first one is the use of a geoexchange system as one of the sources for providing
heating and cooling for the 4. 5 million-sq-ft
Oakridge Centre in Vancouver – a development that includes retail, residential,
office and public spaces. This neighborhood system of Creative Energy’s will
reduce the center’s greenhouse gas emissions by nearly 70 percent compared to
conventional boilers and chillers.
Mirvish Village in Toronto is a mixed-use development where Creative Energy
is constructing a below-grade district
energy facility that will supply heat, hot
water and electricity using a gas-fired
CHP system, photovoltaic panels and hot
water boilers. It will also incorporate a
Our third project is a closed-loop
ocean exchange system that will provide
heating and cooling for a new development in Horseshoe Bay, West Vancouver.
It is estimated that 90 percent of the
energy required by the development will
be supplied by the ocean-loop project,
All of our new projects utilize low-
carbon resources that are available
QWhat role can municipal leaders play in supporting the development
of district energy networks?
KI: I believe that municipalities have
a major role to play within district energy.
In some cases, they own and operate the
system. But in every case, they are key
stakeholders because of the policies that
they enact, such as emissions standards.
So, district energy is effectively joined at
the hip with municipal policies.
While federal and provincial governments may have their own greenhouse gas
reduction targets, most of the standards
for new developments and building codes
are developed by municipalities. They play
a vital role because district energy follows
those standards to make them sustainable.
For instance, the city of Vancouver has prescribed low-carbon sources in the energy
mix for all new developments to reduce
greenhouse gas emissions. District energy
can provide viable, cost-effective solutions
while achieving the green standards of the
I believe much of the credit for the
success of district energy over the years
goes to municipalities and university
campuses. They adopted district energy
decades ago and then built and maintained those systems.
QHow does your involvement in IDEA help you advance your company’s
KI: IDEA is a good forum for exchanging ideas with our peers. We all have our
own peculiar issues and problems that
only another district energy system operator would understand. At IDEA, we can
reach out to these experts with our questions whether it’s how to structure a contract or solve operational problems in the
plant or in the distribution network. IDEA
is also doing a lot of advocacy work with
governments. I am eager to reconnect
with my colleagues from other systems
and am looking forward to the opportunity to meet with them at the annual conference in Pittsburgh.
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