The Canada Infrastructure Bank (CIB), Markham District Energy Inc. (MDE), and CIBC, announced financial close on a large-scale investment to expand clean energy projects in the City of Markham.

Under the agreement, the CIB and CIBC are each investing $135 million. The financing supports MDE’s expansion plans to serve new customers in the City’s rapidly growing urban centres while accelerating MDE’s objective of achieving net-zero emissions.

“Our $135 million investment will support Markham District Energy in expanding their operations, benefiting residents and business owners in the City of Markham. The enhanced district energy system will reduce greenhouse gas emissions and create economic spin off benefits,” said Ehren Cory, CEO, Canada Infrastructure Bank.

Operating since 2000, MDE is a thermal energy utility owned by the City of Markham. As the fastest-growing district energy utility in Canada, it currently provides services to 13 million square feet and 230 buildings. The investments will help MDE expand its service area, ensuring more buildings can connect to its low-carbon district energy systems. By alleviating the need for separate heating and cooling systems and providing community scale fuel switching technologies, the new infrastructure is expected to reduce 33,700 tonnes of greenhouse gas annually.

“This strategic investment from the CIB is an important catalyst to support Markham District Energy’s expansion plans and accelerate specific projects to reduce our carbon footprint now and advance our path towards net-zero emissions by 2050. We are very pleased that CIBC responded to our call for a funding partner which sets the stage for us to deliver efficient, reliable and low carbon district energy to all new customers in our growing urban centres,” said Bruce Ander, president and CEO, Markham District Energy.

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The CIB worked with MDE to attract private capital from CIBC to expand its low-carbon district energy systems for residential complexes, commercial businesses and institutions. As a result, MDE will deliver on its 10-year growth plan which includes new high efficiency energy production facilities, extending the thermal distribution network, and investing in significant low carbon fuel switching projects, including Canada’s largest wastewater energy recovery project.

“CIBC is proud to partner with the Canada Infrastructure Bank and Markham District Energy, helping expand clean energy projects in the City of Markham while working together to help achieve our sustainability ambitions,” said Lisa Raitt, Vice-Chair of Global Investment Banking, CIBC.

District energy systems leverage proven technology to create a long-term reliable, efficient and cost-effective energy distribution network. Through a system of underground pipes, energy is delivered to buildings in the form of hot water and chilled water to heat and cool building space. Buildings are the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions in urban centres. Every building connected to the district system becomes “net-zero ready” as MDE continually betters its carbon performance while moving towards the net-zero target.

The partnership will support meeting the City of Markham’s climate change targets to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050, and aligns with CIBC’s ambition to achieve net-zero operational and financing activities by 2050.

“Our award-winning district energy utility will be able to achieve its growth and low carbon targets supported by this important investment from the Canada Infrastructure Bank and the CIBC. This is a great example of the municipal sector working with public and private sector partners to deliver environmental and economic benefits to Canadians,” said Frank Scarpitti, Mayor of Markham.

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Featured image: (L to R) Lisa Raitt, Vice-Chair of Global Investment Banking, CIBC; Frank Scarpitti, Mayor of Markham; Bruce Ander, president and CEO, Markham District Energy; and Ehren Cory, CEO, Canada Infrastructure Bank. (Canada Infrastructure Bank)

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