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District energy to be plugged in at Coquitlam city hall
The City Centre precinct in Coquitlam — also known as "Four Corners" — will see more than just Evergreen Line construction over the next few months.
On Monday, the city started the first phase of a new district energy system for the area, with trenching and pipe installation from the City Centre Aquatic Complex (CCAC) across Guildford Way to city hall.
That portion of the work is expected to wrap up in two weeks and will involve changes to the sidewalk access as well as a temporary relocation of the bus stop in front of CCAC (it will be further west of the pool on Guildford).
The project, when complete this fall or winter, will provide a centralized heating and cooling program between the pool, city hall, Coquitlam RCMP headquarters and the Evergreen Cultural Centre.
The district energy program being put in is similar to the system that has been working since 2009 at the Poirier Sport and Leisure Complex.
It aims to reduce reliance on fossil fuels by recapturing alternative sources. Under Thermenex (an acronym for thermal energy exchange), city staff say Coquitlam would cut its greenhouse gas emissions by 500 tonnes (8%) and lower power costs by $115,000 a year (26%) for the life of four buildings.
Invented by B.C. engineer Jeff Weston, Thermenex is a water-filled pipe with hot and cold ends, using refrigeration technology to create the thermal gradient. The technology works through a system of reclaiming energy.
The cost to design and install Thermenex at the Four Corners is around $3.5 million — money the city will recover over 23 years in energy savings, staff say.