A Request for Qualifications will be published to evaluate interested consortia on their experience in projects of similar size and complexity and to develop a short list of potential proponents for a Request for Proposal (RFP). The RFP will be published in early 2018 and will set out the conditions and specifications of the project. It will invite the proponents to submit binding technical and financial proposals. A contract is expected to be finalized with a private partner in the spring of 2019.
The major benefit of district energy is the ability to be flexible and opportunistic. Over time, local opportunities are expected to emerge that may lower costs or reduce GHG emissions. These may require negotiation with third parties to develop shared energy facilities like biomass or combined heat and power or cogeneration (CHP), industrial waste heat with or without heat pumps, or heat from CHP plants. ESAP could be a springboard for a substantially larger system. Expansion to serve other government owned and leased buildings could double the current system loads and there is potential to expand service to buildings in the downtown core not currently serviced and to expand to new developments that might quadruple current loads. Expansion plans could also consider interconnection with other existing district energy systems in the region, including systems operated by universities and hospitals. CHALLENGES FOR IMPLEMENTATION The P3 process has been a successful way to construct and operate projects with a well-defined scope and it has been used for office buildings, hospitals, highways and an ongoing high profile replacement of a bridge linking the island of Montréal to highways to the south. Some objectives of this district energy project, however, may present challenges to the fairly rigid financial structure of a P3 contract, such as diversifying the energy sources, expanding service and maximizing GHG reductions. Decision-making and the organization of financing processes must be streamlined and clear to achieve these objectives, which support many important commitments made to Canadians and the international community. Some changes to the base model of conversion to LTHW could make contracting challenging. One example is the possibility that transmission lines would need to connect to energy sources that would not be known at time the contract is awarded. Opportunities could arise from negotiations with third parties to secure heat from industrial waste, expanded biomass, energy from waste or CHP projects, solar utilities or data centres that have surplus heat available. Also, the full potential for expansion of the network and interconnection with other existing networks may not be clear until the contract is underway. Examining the most successful systems around the world, these are the kinds of measures that will be necessary to achieve Canada’s environmental objectives. As one of the larger district energy transformations in North America, and with potential for expansion, the opportunities for a successful partner are significant and ESAP is providing a foundation. Cooperation with the right partner will let it reach its potential.
A tunnel that is part of the Government of Canada’s existing district energy system infrastructure in Ottawa.
Industry consultations indicate that there is strong interest in the project from the private sector in both North America and Europe. The challenge and opportunity for industry is to bring forward innovations that will help define the project and drive its long term success with the foresight and creativity shown when rebuilding the Parliament Building to incorporate a newer technology into a system that is still, a hundred years later, providing a solid base for future advances that will protect our environment.
Energy Services Acquisition Program Public Services and Procurement Canada For further information please contact:
/ Government of Canada Att.: Tomasz Smetny-Sowa
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