The City of Richmond's Alexandra District Energy Utility wins 2016 IDEA System of the Year Award

By District Energy posted 07-06-2017 15:10



The City of Richmond's Alexandra District Energy Utility (now Lulu Island Energy Company)was announced as the winner of the 2016 System of the Year at the Annual Chairman's Banquet on Wednesday evening, June 22, at the 107th Annual Conference & Trade Show in St. Paul, Minn.

2016_system_of_year_award-Richmond.jpgRay DuBose, former IDEA Chair (left) presents the 2016 system of the Year Award to Alen Postolka, District Energy Manager of the City of Richmond, BC, Canada.

The Alexandra District Energy Utility (ADEU), now Lulu Island Energy Company, is a sustainable energy system that centralizes energy production for heating, cooling and domestic hot water heating, servicing residential and commercial customers in the West Cambie neighbourhood in Richmond BC, Canada.

In November 2015, the City of Richmond completed Phase 3 expansion of its system which increased the overall energy centre footprint to add two 2,550 kW evaporative fluid coolers and three 1,500 kW condensing boilers with enough space for future expansions. It uses ground source heat pump technology to extract heat (renewable geothermal energy) from the ground via a network of vertical boreholes drilled into the two geo-exchange fields. The fields are comprised of 726 vertical closed-loop boreholes each at 250 feet deep. A water based fluid is pumped through the network and picks up and transfers the heat from the boreholes to the energy centre, housed in a building near the geo-exchange fields. The energy travels from the energy centre through the distribution pipes in the street to the Energy Transfer Stations in the connected buildings.

Heat pumps in the buildings elevate the temperatures for heating or reject heat to the ADEU system for cooling. As heating and cooling are part of the concept, the geo-exchange fields benefit from heat rejection. Heat returned to the field during the cooling season can be partially recovered during the heating season. This results in a smaller and more efficient field which can deliver the same heating capacity. As of today, there are close to 1,100,000 sq ft (1,200 residential units) and 30,000 sq ft non-residential spaces are connected to the district energy system.

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