Environment and Climate Change Canada announces first phase of MSAPR application covering boilers & heaters

The Electricity and Combustion Division, Environment and Climate Change Canada has announced the release of the first phase of the Online Reporting Application covering Part 1 (Boilers and Heaters) of the Multi-Sector Air Pollutants Regulations (MSAPR).

(Texte en français ci-dessous)

The application is accessed through Environment and Climate Change Canada’s Single Window (SWIM) reporting platform–please see instructions:

This phase includes the functionalities to comply with the June reporting requirements. Later this year the application will be updated to include future reporting requirements, such as annual reports.

It is important to note that pursuant to Section 120 of the MSAPR, the use of the Online Reporting Application is mandatory.


The agency will be hosting a series of Webinar sessions to demo the Online Reporting Application. No pre-registration is required. Three sessions will be held, two in English and one in French (we will stay responsive to set more sessions if there is a need):

Date Time (1h30 hr) Language WebEx link
Monday, May 1st 12h30 (EST) English https://gts-ee.webex.com/gts-ee/onstage/g.php?MTID=e16e667dbb575291bcbdbd5631c4e4d2f
Wednesday, May 3rd 12h30 (EST) French https://gts-ee.webex.com/gts-ee/onstage/g.php?MTID=eb721a4f74247da115c0ff2c3634ad804
Thursday, May 4th 12h30 (EST) English https://gts-ee.webex.com/gts-ee/onstage/g.php?MTID=e18e5bda9152e676de1c0a0e95b27d01b

Contact:  Paola Mellow, Director, Electricity and Combustion Division, Environment and Climate Change Canada / Government of Canada, ec.combustion.ec@canada.ca

en français:

Nous sommes heureux d’annoncer la mise en ligne de la phase 1 de l’Outil de déclaration pour la partie 1 du Règlement multisectoriel sur les polluants atmosphériques (RMSPA). L’outil est accessible à travers la plateforme du Guichet unique d’Environnement et Changement climatique Canada (GIGU). Veuillez lire les instructions:

La phase 1 inclut les fonctionnalités pour se conformer aux exigences de déclaration du mois de juin. Une mise à jour de l’outil sera effectuée plus tard cette année pour inclure les exigences de déclaration à venir, tels que les rapports annuels.

Il est important de noter que conformément à l’article 120 du RMSPA, l’utilisation de l’outil de déclaration en ligne est obligatoire pour la soumission des rapports.


Nous tiendrons une série de webinaires où nous ferons une démonstration de l’outil. Il n’est pas nécessaire de vous enregistrer pour participer à une session. Nous tiendrons deux sessions en anglais et une en français (nous ajouterons des sessions au besoin) :

Date Heure (1 :30 h) Langue Lien WebEx
Lundi, 1er mai 12h30 (HNE) Anglais https://gts-ee.webex.com/gts-ee/onstage/g.php?MTID=e16e667dbb575291bcbdbd5631c4e4d2f
Mercredi, 3 mai 12h30 (HNE) Français https://gts-ee.webex.com/gts-ee/onstage/g.php?MTID=eb721a4f74247da115c0ff2c3634ad804
Jeudi, 4 mai 12h30 (HNE) Anglais https://gts-ee.webex.com/gts-ee/onstage/g.php?MTID=e18e5bda9152e676de1c0a0e95b27d01b


Vous trouverez en pièce jointe à ce courriel des instructions préliminaires portant sur l’utilisation de l’Outil de déclaration du RMSPA.

N’hésitez pas à nous envoyer un courriel (ec.combustion.ec@canada.ca) pour toutes autres questions.



Paola Mellow, Directrice, Division de l’Électricité et de la Combustion, Environnement et Changement climatique Canada / Gouvernement du Canada, ec.combustion.ec@canada.ca


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Boston Medical Center unveils $15M cogeneration plant to increase energy efficiency & resiliency

reports that Boston Medical Center is now generating much of its own electricity and heat through a natural gas-fired, 2 megawatt combined heat and power plant (CHP, or cogen), further enhancing BMC’s standing as the most resilient and greenest hospital in Boston.

Click image to watch video.

Click image to watch video.

The cogen facility – about the size of a tractor trailer – will save BMC about $1.5 million in heat and energy costs annually. Traditional power plants, which release excess heat into the atmosphere, operate at about 35 percent efficiency. Cogen technology, which instead traps and reuses the heat, operates at 70 percent efficiency…

…BMC is the only major teaching hospital in Massachusetts that currently has “black start” capability, meaning that if the electric grid goes down, the hospital can restart the cogen plant and heat and power its inpatient units on an “island” for months at a time, as long as it has a supply of natural gas. The cogen plant, which became operational this spring, is also located on the roof of the Yawkey Ambulatory Care Center, high above any potential floodwaters.  More….



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Empower: District cooling service enhances the hospitality industry in UAE

Zawya reports from Dubai, UAE that on the occasion of Arabian Travel Market (ATM) 2017, a major international travel and tourism event just completed at The Dubai International Exhibition and Convention Centre, it was announced that 110 hotels are using Empower’s district cooling services. Empower is a member of the International District Energy Association (IDEA).

H.E. Ahmad Bin Shafar

H.E. Ahmad Bin Shafar

H.E. Ahmad Bin Shafar, CEO of Empower stated that this increase is due to boom in hospitality industry, which is also supported by increasing adoption of district cooling technology.

“District cooling systems serve as a catalyst to promote sustainability of the built environment. The UAE in particular have firmly positioned itself as global leader in the tourism and hospitality sector. The coming years are extremely important with a significant increase expected in the number of hotels to support the Expo 2020 and Dubai Tourism Vision. The anticipated growth is a clear indication that the hospitality sector in the UAE needs to adopt district cooling to promote sustainability and reduce its carbon footprint,” he said.

The United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) declared 2017 as the ‘International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development’ to promote sustainability and best green practices in the tourism industry. Aligning with this global movement and focusing on the hotels’ built environment, Empower urged hotels and hospitality companies participating in the ATM to adopt district cooling systems, which is known for its flexibility and greater efficiency in providing cooling services, in addition to energy savings and conservation of natural resources.

“District cooling is more energy efficient than conventional cooling,” said Bin Shafar. “It not only reduces carbon dioxide and emission of hazardous refrigerants, but also reduces energy consumption and helps free up space on rooftops and in basements for enhanced aesthetics and design freedom. By investing in the use of district cooling, hotels and hospitality companies become much more energy efficient and support UAE’s objective of reducing greenhouse gas emissions. In addition, using eco-friendly technologies like district cooling service contributes to boosting the competitiveness in the hospitality industry, as customers favor visiting environment-friendly hotels.”

District cooling systems can help save up to 50 percent of total power consumption compared to conventional systems, while saving chiller space at large buildings and hotels. As such, many of the new hospitality establishments have connected to district cooling in Dubai, a trend that is increasing largely to cover a major share of the hotel industry.

Empower currently operates more than 1.250 Million RT, providing environmentally responsible district cooling services to large-scale real estate developments such as Jumeirah Group, Business Bay, Jumeirah Beach Residence, Dubai International Financial Centre, Palm Jumeirah, Jumeirah Lake Towers, Ibn Battuta Mall, Discovery Gardens, Dubai Healthcare City, Dubai World trade Centre Residences, Dubai Design District, among others.


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US Offshore Wind Roadmap for New York, Massachusetts and California

If you’re into offshore wind, this recorded webinar will be of interest.

Maiza de Lavenère Bastos, FCBI Energy informs via the LinkedIn: Energy Expertise blog about three very interesting presentations given by U.S. state representatives about the current & future initiatives and planning for offshore wind development in New York, Massachusetts and California.

They speak about the competitive planning and leasing process, supply chain analysis and environmental assessment. This information is essential for any business involved in, or transitioning into, the U.S. offshore wind sector.

You can sign up to access the recording of a free webinar containing three presentations by signing in at http://bit.ly/2p3uftI

Content includes:

  1. Massachusetts Offshore Wind Roadmap by Bill White, Senior Director, Offshore Wind Sector Development, Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC)
  2. California Offshore Wind Roadmap by Karen Douglas, Commissioner, California Energy Commission
  3. New York Offshore Wind Roadmap by Doreen Harris, Director, Large-Scale Renewables, New York State Energy Research & Development Authority (NYSERDA)
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Stamford Hospital (CT) aims to go ‘green’ with new building

Paul Schott reports in the Stamford Advocate that  Stamford Hospital’s new building is designed to take only as many breaths as it needs.

As they prepared to observe Earth Day this past week, hospital officials said environmental awareness in their institution’s flagship 650,000-square-foot structure that opened last September is no gimmick. Hospital officials point to sustainability features as key to keeping costs down and creating a healthier and more welcoming experience for patients. Click for photographs.

“It’s a smart business decision to save energy,” said Stanley Hunter, the project director for the hospital’s master plan program.

Energy efficient

Designing the hospital’s $450 million headquarters offered the opportunity to design a campus that would improve from top to bottom on the environmental efficiency of the old building.

Hospital officials expected to run a new building that would use 12 percent less in utilities than comparably sized hospitals — an efficiency target they said they are already exceeding.  More….


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Energy efficiency Law 129 has delivered $6.4 billion savings for Pennsylvanians since 2009. But some big energy users want a free ride.

Daniel Bloom reports for Energy Efficiency Economy (Apr 20, 2017) that Pennsylvania’s landmark energy efficiency law – known as Act 129 – continues to deliver huge electricity savings for the Commonwealth’s residents and businesses. Promulgated in 2009, the law’s objective is “to identify potential options for customers to obtain low-cost financing for energy efficiency projects to meet the needs of Pennsylvania consumers.”

On Oct. 15, 2008, then Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell signed HB 2200 into law as Act 129 of 2008, with an effective date of Nov. 14, 2008.

In its most recent report on Act 129, the Public Utility Commission’s (PUC) Statewide Evaluator found that residential, commercial, and industrial consumers saved $2.2 billion in the last three years alone. So why the repeated – and so far failed – attempts to jam through legislation that would cripple the Keystone State’s energy efficiency efforts?

Under Phase II of Act 129, from June 2013 to May 2016, more than 80 energy efficiency and conservation programs offered by seven Pennsylvania utilities saved enough electricity to power 330,000 households per year, the Statewide Evaluator found. While Act 129 energy efficiency programs have been saving Pennsylvanians money, reducing energy demand and offsetting costly new power plant investments, a select few companies in the Northeastern part of the state continue to look for a free ride, pushing to get an opt-out for the state’s largest commercial and industrial energy users. Sen. Lisa Boscola (D-District 18) has led this charge for the past two years, on behalf of companies such as Air Products and ALCOA, and she is expected soon to reintroduce her bill to free large commercial and industrial companies from their statutory obligation to contribute funds to Act 129 programs, as all other businesses and households are required to do.

Just what is it these companies want to opt out of? Since Act 129 was fully implemented in 2009, utility programs authorized under the law have been overwhelmingly cost-effective. During Phase II, Act 129 programs delivered $1.71 in benefits for every dollar invested in energy efficiency and saved 524 MW of electric generating capacity, which is equivalent to a $500 million power plant. Not only have the state’s utilities run cost-effective programs that save Pennsylvanians money, but every one of them has exceeded its energy savings goals, according to the Statewide Evaluator report.

Sen. Boscola’s opt-out bill would upend the success achieved under Act 129. Based on the 2016 version, Senate Bill 805, the bill would allow some of Pennsylvania’s largest companies to withdraw their contributions to a funding pool that finances energy efficiency upgrades for homes and commercial facilities, including their own. In fact, commercial and industrial customers benefited from nearly 50% of the 524 MW of electric capacity saved in Phase II.

Allowing the largest electricity customers in the state to pull out of Act 129 will saddle the remaining small businesses and households with disproportionate responsibility for meeting the law’s energy conservation targets. Those targets vary by utility, ranging from 2.6% to 5% of annual retail electricity sales in Phase III, which runs through 2021.

What’s at stake in meeting those targets is not just customer savings but jobs and the economy. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, Pennsylvania is home to more than 62,000 energy efficiency jobs. Energy efficiency products and services support jobs in manufacturing, construction, craft trades, engineering, architecture, software, and finance. Despite the ups and downs of Pennsylvania’s economy, the energy efficiency sector has seen an average annual job growth rate of 7.5% over the past seven years.

Fact is, the full impact of this job-killing bill remains unknown because it has never been subjected to any sort of scrutiny. Last year, the bill passed the Senate without a single public hearing, without any independent economic analysis, and without opportunity for public and expert input. This, even though the legislation was first introduced in May 2015.

This is no time to pull the rug out from under Pennsylvania’s successful energy efficiency efforts. Phase III of Act 129, which began in June 2016, is expected to bring billions in savings to the Commonwealth, on top of $6.4 billion in savings achieved under Phase I and II. The PUC has also initiated a proceeding on alternative ratemaking methodologies to investigate new compensation methods to make the state’s investor-owned utilities full partners in saving money for their customers, and all Pennsylvania ratepayers.

For whatever reason, some large energy users feel that Act 129 lacks value for them, and they want out. If that’s the case, they need to bring those concerns to the PUC, not the legislature. If those concerns are found to be legitimate, the PUC should find ways to better tailor the program to meet these companies’ needs, without depriving other customers of the funds needed to support energy efficiency investments that can lower their electricity bills as well. If the benefits of energy efficiency are to be provided to all, all need to stay in Act 129, not drop out.

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Waste incineration slashes Vantaa, Finland residents’ heating costs

Yle (“General” in English), a Finnish publication, reports that the metropolitan city of Vantaa has been able to drop district heating costs for residents of semi-detached homes and flats, thanks to cost savings from its waste incinerator. The plant currently produces 920 gigawatt hours of district heat annually, almost half of the city’s needs.

Around 700 tons of various materials are extracted from the flue gas every year, mostly heavy metals, which are disposed of by Riihimäki company Ekokem, now part of the Fortum group. The slag is taken to the Ämmässuo landfill site, and the gravel-like bottom slag is used in earthworks.

The plant takes in waste from as far away as Hanko to the west, Porvoo in the east and Karkkila in the north. Apparently not all of the 1.5 million people within the plant’s scope have learned to sort their waste appropriately: metal objects like garden shears and batteries still fall from the steam boiler during the burn phase.

In the first two years of operations, the plant has burned over a million tonnes of waste. It also proved to be highly efficient.

“We have achieved a 95-percent efficiency rate, in other words, almost all of the energy we produce is utilized as district heating and electricity,” says Lassi Kortelainen, district heating service director at Vantaa Energy.

Even though the City of Helsinki owns 40 percent of Vantaa Energy, most of the heating and electricity generated is directed to Vantaa, where some 80 percent of the building stock is connected to the district heating network.

“We were able to offer basic district heating to our customers in November and December free of charge. Overall, we’ve reached a ten percent reduction in energy charges,” he says.

Plastic recycling also picks up speed

At the same time, Finland is slowly waking up to the idea of recycling plastics, instead of burning them. Helsinki’s waste management and water services company HSY has been carrying out a plastic waste recycling pilot for about a year. After a rough start, things are starting to work smoothly.

HSY started a trial of plastic packaging collection in May 2016 and will continue until the end of 2018. Properties located in the Helsinki area were selected to take part in this trial if they were already using the HSY collection service for energy waste.

“We’ve got 3,500 properties involved and we’ve already gathered 2,000 tonnes of plastic waste,” says Johanna Rusanen, the HSY service director of plastic recycling in the capital city region.

Households in Finland needn’t be taking part in the trial to participate, the HSY representative reminds, as there are now over 500 plastic recycling bins located near food shops throughout Finland.

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Lower cost and lower emissions of biodiesel on the move

Troy Shoen of Renewable Energy Group reports exclusively to the International District Energy Association (IDEA) that Rochester (MN) Public Transit saves money and reduces air pollution by using biodiesel in its fleet. What does that have to do with district energy? What works for buses can also work for stationary DE prime movers. Renewable Energy Group is a member of IDEA.

While biodiesel is primarily used in over-the-road vehicle fleets, it can also be used as a clean alternative fuel mixed with #2 U.L.S.D. for heating plants and district heating applications. In addition, a co-product of the biodiesel industry, heavy esters, can be used in place of heavy fuels. Biodiesel-fired power systems may be eligible for renewable energy credits (RECs) under many jurisdictions’ renewable portfolio standards (RPS). Biodiesel is increasingly being viewed as a low-carbon option in power generation, including at thermal plants.

Having cleaner air and being sustainable takes on added significance in Rochester because the town is home to the renowned Mayo Clinic, which is also a member of IDEA. A significant portion of the population works in the health care industry, and people from all over the world come to Rochester for treatment.

There are a lot of reasons why Rochester, Minnesota, runs its public buses on biodiesel blends. But when the city made the switch nearly 20 years ago, two benefits rose to the top.

“One was cost, and the other was lowering emissions,” says Tony Knauer, the city’s transit and parking manager. “If people were to look out their windows and see black smoke pouring out of buses, that would not be acceptable,” Knauer says. “We are very sensitive to that.”

Today, those are still the two chief reasons Rochester Public Transit not only uses biodiesel in its 52-bus fleet but has also increased to a B20 blend.

In 2016, the city paid 8 cents per gallon less for B20 than it would have for B10, and it saved 17 cents per gallon over what it would have paid for 100 percent petroleum diesel. That adds up fast for a fleet that consumes 300,000 gallons of biodiesel per year and is the largest fuel user among the city’s fleets.

“Savings in operating expense are important to any enterprise whether public or private,” Knauer says. “Fuel is a major expense in our budget. At our current usage, a 10-cent-per-gallon decrease over a year is a $30,000 savings.”

Public wants cleaner fuels

The other part of the equation is the environment. Rochester Public Transit moved from B10 to B20 in June 2016 at the recommendation of the American Lung Association in Minnesota, which promoted the reduction in particulate matter, hydrocarbon and carbon emissions the move would bring. The bus fleet now uses B20 in the warmer months and B5 in the winter.

“We decided to start using B20 because we know the mayor and the city want Rochester to be environmentally friendly,” Knauer says. “Also, the fuel performs well. It has not been detrimental to our engines.”

Mayo Clinic also boosts ridership on city buses. Rochester has a population of 110,000, but 40,000 people work downtown, where Mayo is located. Many of them ride the bus, and the Rochester Public Transit hub is in the center of the medical campus.

Rochester Public Transit by the Numbers:

  • 46 full-sized buses and six cutaway vehicles
  • 1.1   million miles traveled per year
  • 1.7 million passengers per year
  • B20 was 17 cents per gallon cheaper on average for Rochester Public Transit than petroleum diesel in 2016
  • 300,000 gallons of biodiesel consumed per year

Fleet performance stays strong

Rochester Public Transit has achieved these financial and environmental benefits from biodiesel with no loss in performance.

“We haven’t experienced anything negative with biodiesel,” says Roger Ritchie, the transit system’s fleet manager and a diesel mechanic. “Since switching to B20, we’ve had no engine issues. We haven’t had any issues with fuel filters. And the lubrication from biodiesel has been a good thing given the lack of lubricity in modern diesel fuel.”

The city studied compressed natural gas (CNG) in 2014 and 2015. The cost of a high-pressure CNG fueling station was estimated at $3 million. Retrofitting the maintenance shop was estimated at another $1 million. Knauer says that since that study, the margin between biodiesel and CNG prices decreased, which has made the return on investment for CNG longer. The City Council decided to wait and continue to monitor the development of alternate fuels. Knauer says that when you purchase a bus with a certain fuel system you are committed to that fuel type for 15 to 20 years.

“When we were considering going to B20, all of the arguments environmentally, on the engine side and cost were positive,” Knauer says.

Contact: Troy Shoen, Renewable Energy Group, tel. 55-239-8611; troy.shoen@regi.com

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New inventory of district energy systems in Canada available

     "District Energy Inventory for Canada, 2014" (click illustration to download the report).

"District Energy Inventory for Canada, 2014" (click illustration to download the report).

The 2016 District Energy Inventory for Canada (2014 data) presents an updated snapshot of the thermal energy network across the country. We have identified 159 operating district energy systems across the country (up from 128 last year), increasing the comprehensiveness of our inventory. To date, detailed data have been gathered from 80 facilities (up from 67 last year), providing deeper insight into the nature of district energy systems in Canada. These data enable us to better analyze the types of service provided, governance structures, district energy customers, a variety of operating data, recent and/or planned growth and facility employment.

What is district energy?

A District Energy System is a system designed to supply thermal energy (and possibly electricity) to multiple buildings from a central plant or from several interconnected but distributed plants.

Click image to access the database.

Data presented in the report are available in an online database maintained on the CIEEDAC website: Click image to access the database.

*About the CIEEDAC. The Canadian Industrial Energy End-use Data and Analysis Centre (CIEEDAC), established in 1993 by Natural Resources Canada, primarily focuses on energy information relevant to Canada’s industrial sector. One of CIEEDAC’s primary goals is to expand and improve the existing knowledge on energy use by establishing processes for the regular and timely collection of reliable data in areas and sectors where data gaps exist, including data on cogeneration, renewable energy and, as is the focus of this report, district energy. CIEEDAC provides a range of services to industry and government, one of which is the preparation of annual reports that present the latest data on energy use and related issues for the Canadian industrial sector and those sectors mentioned above. These data can be obtained from the CIEEDAC website’s on line databases.

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East Bronx Healthcare Microgrid Team receives $1,000,000 State grant based on Gotham 360’s feasibility study in the NY Prize Competition

The East Bronx Healthcare Microgrid was announced by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo as one of 11 winners to receive a $1,000,000 grant to design a microgrid as part of NY Prize, a statewide initiative focused on modernizing New York City’s electricity grid. This project is based on a feasibility study, also funded through NY Prize and completed by Gotham 360.

NY Prize is a first-in-the-nation competition designated to helping communities create microgrids, standalone energy system that can operate during a power outage. The initiative helps communities reduce costs, promote clean energy, and build reliability and resiliency into the electric grid by spurring innovation and community partnerships.

“Gotham 360 is honored to be a part of such a prestigious team and looks forward to further collaboration on our microgrid concept for the East Bronx.,” said Jennifer Kearney, Founder and CEO of Gotham 360. “NY Prize gives us the unique opportunity to partner with like-minded organizations and build a more sustainable community through reducing costs, promoting clean energy, and building reliability and resiliency into the grid.”

The competition began with 85 award winners receiving a $100,000 grant. As one of the winners, Gotham 360 used the grant to perform a microgrid study on behalf of one of the firm’s longstanding healthcare clients, Montefiore Medical Center.

In the second stage, Gotham 360 partnered with Enwave*, who is currently leading the team, which includes Burns & McDonnell*, Van Zelm Engineers, Couch White, Utilivisor*, and ConEd*, to design a district energy system microgrid in the East Bronx, that will provide heat and power to four hospitals (Weiler Hospital, Jacobi Medical Center, Albert Center, Einstein College of Medicine, and Calvary Hospital).

*EDITOR’S NOTE: Enwave, Burns & McDonnell, Utilivisor and ConEd are members of the International District Energy Association (IDEA).

The Gotham 360 team will apply its expertise to develop a comprehensive engineering, financial, and commercial assessment associated with installing and operating a community microgrid in the East Bronx.

The proposed microgrid will mitigate the risk of single generators failing during prolonged outages through combined heat and power, solar, battery systems, steam turbine generators, and heat recovery steam generators as well as leveraging existing steam generation plants.

For more information about NY Prize visit https://www.nyserda.ny.gov/ny-prize

About Gotham 360: Gotham 360 is a full-service energy consulting and management firm located in New York City with over 30 years of combined experience and expertise. We assist our clients in effectively and efficiently managing energy risks and challenges. We work from the inside out, fully integrating ourselves into each organization’s teams and programs so that we can help them source the most innovative and cost-effective energy solutions available. www.gotham360.com

Contact: Jennifer Garcia, jgarcia@redbamboomarketing.com, tel. 732-268-8345

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