Two New Cogeneration Plants to be Built in Guelph

April 10, 2014

GUELPH— By the end of 2016, Guelph may have two new combined heat and power plants up and running.

The Minister of Energy, Bob Chiarelli, announced the details of the two new power plants at a news conference on Thursday morning at Polycon Industries in the west end of the city.

One facility will be built at the Polycon location on Independence Place, with an expected completion date of Sept. 2015. This plant will use natural gas to generate a constant eight megawatts of power to help run the car part manufacturing plant.

The excess heat created from generating power will be captured and used in the plant's production work.

"This is a much more efficient way of using electricity," Chiarelli said during the announcement.

Polycon Industries, a division of Magna International Inc., generally uses 10 to 12 megawatts of power to run its facility. Chiarelli said Polycon will end up saving $2 million per year with the installation of this cogeneration power plant.

The cost of the facility will be paid for by Polycon, and then after it is operational, the Ontario Power Authority has agreed to fund up to 40 per cent of its cost, or up to $7.1 million.

Polycon would not reveal the total cost of the facility.

The second combined heat and power plant is scheduled to be built in the Hanlon Creek Business Park by the end of 2016. This plant will be constructed and run by Envida Community Energy Inc., a subsidiary of Guelph Hydro.

Envida did not reveal the cost of constructing this plant.

Chiarelli said this natural gas-fired facility will produce 10.2 megawatts of power that will be fed back into the grid under a 20-year contract with the Ontario Power Authority. This facility will take the excess heat created in the power generation process and use it in a district energy system.

District energy takes hot or cold water from one main hub and pumps it through a series of underground pipes into nearby buildings to heat or cool down those spaces. The City of Guelph installed a district energy system stemming from the Sleeman Centre at the end of last year.

Guelph Mayor Karen Farbridge said the City of Guelph has identified nine possible hubs or nodes for district energy systems to be put in place throughout the city sometime in the future, and these systems do not have to run on combined heat and power plants. The Sleeman Centre's district energy system is not a combined heat and power system.

"Over the long term we can start to interconnect the whole thing," she said.

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