Ottawa CTV News
Zibi is one of the first communities in North America to use an innovative district energy system, a heating and cooling method that burns no fossil fuel.
Scott Demark is the president of the Zibi Community Utility and says, “Most of the heating and cooling in Gatineau and Ottawa is done by burning fossil fuel. So, what this allows us to do is burn no fossil fuels.”
Zibi is a 34-acre waterfront community straddling both Ottawa and Gatineau near the Chaudière Bridge.
The green energy system uses its location close to the Ottawa River and the Kruger Product Plant to heat and cool using green technology. The Zibi Community Utility is a partnership between Tehia Partners and Hydro Ottawa.
To create heat, effluent heat from the tissue-making process is funnelled into a plant where the heat is upgraded and moved through a network of pipes to the Zibi site.
For the cooling process, cold water is pulled in from the Ottawa River and put in chillers to produce chilled water to cool the buildings.
All the heating and cooling goes through a hydronic loop between Gatineau and Ottawa.
Demark says the system is “So efficient – in turning the Kruger energy into useful energy, the river water into useful energy,” that the system will be successful even in Ottawa’s cold winters and humid summers.
Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson says, “Zibi is putting the National Capital region on the map as leaders in combating climate change through innovative technology.”