Enwave Energy Corporation broke ground for their new low-carbon heating facility at their Pearl Street Energy Centre in downtown Toronto. This groundbreaking marked the beginning of a milestone expansion and renewal of their facilities which will enable Enwave to provide low-carbon heat to Toronto’s district energy grid.

When fully utilized, Enwave’s low carbon heating facility will provide enough low-carbon heating to reduce emissions in Toronto by approximately 11,600 tCO2e, which is the equivalent of converting over 10 million square feet of office space to net zero.

“The addition of a low carbon heating facility to our Pearl Street Energy Centre is a significant milestone for us and Toronto’s district energy grid, because it allows us to provide decarbonization at scale,” said Carlyle Coutinho, CEO of Enwave Energy Corporation. “As leaders in the energy transition, we are always looking at innovative ways to expand our positive impact and serve even more of Ontario’s residents, institutions, and businesses. Adding this state-of the-art heat pump facility to provide ‘Green Heat’ demonstrates our commitment to this city and province, the development community, and our stakeholders.”

“Buildings in Toronto generate more than half of our city’s greenhouse gas emissions. New technologies, like Enwave’s expanded heat delivery system, will play a critical role in the reduction of our cumulative carbon footprint. The City of Toronto is proud to partner with Enwave to help fulfill our TransformTO Net Zero Strategy and reach net zero by 2040,” said Toronto Deputy Mayor Jennifer McKelvie.

The groundbreaking of the Pearl Street low-carbon heating facility also marks the beginning of Enwave’s broader low carbon energy transition plans in Ontario. For nearly 20 years, Enwave has provided reliable and affordable green district energy to Toronto’s downtown hospitals, campuses, and office buildings through their globally recognized Deep Lake Water Cooling system. Now they are building out new district systems that utilize other sustainable technologies and sources, such as wastewater heat recovery and geoexchange, to service large scale communities in the GTA. For example, Enwave recently launched Enwave GeoCommunities, a new platform which use the near-constant temperatures from the earth to act as a battery to store thermal energy, to provide low-carbon energy to buildings that are outside of their existing districts.

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“Our government is building an energy system to support our growing population and thriving economy,” said Ontario Energy Minister Todd Smith. “I’m pleased to see Enwave doing the same with the expansion of their Low-Carbon Heating Facility, which will provide a zero-emissions heating solution for new buildings in Toronto’s downtown core.”

Engaging with Toronto’s downtown landscape was critical for the design of the new three-storey low-carbon heating facility. At street level, bold graphics and educational displays will articulate Enwave’s vision for efficient, affordable low-carbon energy delivery, and their commitment to net zero. There will also be select glazed areas of the building to display the latest equipment at work.

In addition to the new facility, Enwave will be updating their existing 60-year-old building at 120 Pearl Street with a complete recladding of the façade, using modern materials such as black metal, aluminum, and windows with a frittered glass pattern.

The Pearl Street Energy Centre expansion and renewal project is supported financially by a grant from Canada’s Low Carbon Economy Fund, Champions Stream and a $600 million loan commitment from the Canada Infrastructure Bank (CIB) to accelerate the scale and build-out of Enwave’s low carbon systems in Toronto and Mississauga.

“District energy projects align with our priority to invest in clean energy infrastructure which reduce greenhouse gas emissions. As world leaders focus on global climate action, our innovative investment is a tremendous opportunity to make urban communities greener and more sustainable. The district energy projects will benefit those who live and work in Toronto for generations to come,” said Ehren Cory, CEO, Canada Infrastructure Bank.

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The new facility is anticipated to be completed and in service by late 2024.

Featured image: The groundbreaking for Enwave’s new low-carbon heating facility took place on May 9, 2023. (L to R) Sashen Guneratna, managing director, Investments, Canada Infrastructure Bank; Carlyle Coutinho, CEO, Enwave Energy Corporation; and Todd Smith Minister of Energy, Government of Ontario. (Enwave)

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