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UBC’S Burgeoning Bioenergy Facilities Sustainability Heat and Power Our Campus

By District Energy posted 03-11-2020 11:42


The Ubyssey Magazine


UBC gets a large percentage of its power and heating from clean energy projects like the Bioenergy Research Demonstration Facility (BRDF) and Campus Energy Centre (CEC).

The two projects help UBC further its climate action plan, working together to both power the campus and help meet UBC’s target of reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 67 per cent by 2020.

They function via the Academic District Energy System (ADES), which replaced 14 kilometres of 90-year old steam piping and connected over 160 buildings to a new, more efficient hot-water system.

The BRDF is a bioenergy facility that processes renewable biomass sourced from urban wood waste to generate thermal energy for heating campus buildings. It is also a vital part of the campus’s sustainability and academic efforts as a Living Lab Initiative. Living Labs are research concepts which integrate private parties such as academics, students and companies with public institutions like the university and its facilities, in hopes of creating knowledge and community.

The CEC is UBC’s $24 million state-of-the-art hot-water boiler facility, which is able to meet all of UBC’s heating requirements. The CEC is the primary energy source for the new hot-water district energy system. The conversion from steam to a hot-water system first began in 2011, and in June 2017 the old steam plant was finally turned off.

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