Dalhousie fired up its revamped biomass plant in Truro for the first time a few years ago touting a lofty goal for a 30 per cent jump in energy efficiency.
Turns out, the facility’s planners could’ve been even more ambitious when setting their targets.
"On average, we are producing energy somewhere between 10-15 per cent above what was expected in our business case," says Darrell Boutilier, director of operations with Facilities Management at Dal and a key planner on the project.
That's enough power to satisfy nearly 75 per cent of all the Truro campus' electricity needs, an achievement that recently landed Dalhousie and its consulting partner FVB Energy a coveted global award for innovation from the International District Energy Association (IDEA).
"This has not been shown before on this kind of scale," said Bob Smith, chairman for the IDEA Innovation Award committee, in a statement recognizing the accomplishment in June.
Dal’s facility does not directly power the campus. Instead, the electricity generated by the plant feeds into the province's power grid, which Dal then buys back at a lower rate as part of an agreement with the province.