Cogeneration System: Combined Heat and Power
UCalgary’s Central Heating and Cooling Plant’s Cogeneration system has reduced institutional GHG emissions by more than 60,000 metric tonnes each year since 2011.
UCalgary is shifting towards a cleaner and greener energy supply by generating our own renewable energy with on-site photovoltaic (PV) arrays.
Existing Buildings: Utility Reduction Program
To date, the Utility Reduction Program (URPr) has invested more than $35 million in renewed building systems at the Main and Foothills campuses. It has reduced UCalgary’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by ~30,000 tonnes and generated more than ~$6 million in annual cost savings.
Projects within the program are designed to bring aging infrastructure up to more energy efficient standards with a focus on mechanical upgrades, lighting retrofits, and installation of energy recovery systems. URPr selects and implements projects based on its potential to improve building energy efficiency and reduce GHG emissions.
The URPr investments into the building controls enable improved indoor environmental air quality by tracking ventilation rates within the laboratory spaces to ensure they are meeting the operation requirements of the space. In addition, demand control ventilation improves indoor air quality by allowing the ventilation system to adjust for increased times of building and space occupancy.
Energy Demand Management Plan
In 2020, UCalgary engaged in developing an Energy Demand Management Plan (EDMP). The EDMP is a strategic document dedicated to improving existing building energy performance. A supporting document to the 2019 CAP, the EDMP’s identifies engagement, operational, reporting and technological advancement opportunities that will enable the institution to reach its 50% GHG emission reduction target by 2030. The EDMP prioritizes efforts on energy intensive buildings by identifying, screening and implementing energy improvement projects across the institution’s top energy users. Proposed initiatives include the Utility Reduction Program (URPr), deep energy retrofits, and energy optimization and operational improvements. These programs will use data-driven decision making processes to improve institutional energy performance, reduce GHG missions and avoid utility costs, thereby creating more sustainable and energy-efficient campuses. Inspired by best practices in energy management, including the internationally recognized ISO 50001 standard, the EDMP offers impactful recommendations to unite people, technology and processes and align them with the university’s strategic vision for sustainability.
GHG Emissions Reductions
UCalgary has reduced GHG emissions* by implementing initiatives and programs that make our energy supply and buildings more efficient. As of 2021, we have achieved a 36 per cent reduction from our 2008 baseline, eliminating more than 90,000 tonnes in annual GHG emissions. That’s equivalent to the energy generated by about 23 wind turbines in a year, and is one of the largest GHG reductions of any post-secondary institution in Canada.
*Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions, taking into account energy efficiency conservation measures in 2020-21.