The Zibi Community Utility (ZCU) is a District Energy System relying on effluent energy recovery from local Kruger Products plant for heating, and the Ottawa River for cooling. An equal partnership between Hydro Ottawa and Zibi, the ZCU District Energy System (DES), will provide zero carbon heating and cooling for all Zibi tenants and residents in the 34-acre waterfront city.
ZCU is integral to helping Zibi attain its One Planet Living goals of ensuring its energy needs are satisfied on a net-zero carbon basis. While many district thermal systems exist in Canada, Zibi will be the first in North America to use post-industrial effluent energy recovery in a master-planned community.
For Hydro Ottawa customers and Zibi residents:
- Increased reliability due to reduced energy supply disruptions;
- Comfort and convenience from being able to manage and control temperatures using a mobile application;
- Pride of living and working in one of Canada’s most sustainable communities; and,
- Reduced overall costs including those associated with ongoing operation and infrastructure maintenance.
For the community, the DES:
- Supports a sustainable and smart energy future for the Nation’s Capital with improved energy efficiency and cleaner fuel, ultimately contributing to reducing greenhouse gas emissions;
- Encourages the use of local resources such as the use of cool water sourced from the Ottawa River, and hot water sourced and reused from nearby industrial buildings (post-industrial effluent heat).
How the DES works
ZCU District Energy System
All buildings at Zibi will be interconnected through a hydronic loop that will deliver heating and cooling energy generated at the ZCU central plant, to be located in the lower level of a 15-storey residential building at the corner of Eddy and Jos-Montferrand in Gatineau, QC which is currently under construction.
A first in North America, heat will be injected into this plant through low-grade heat from effluents recovered from the neighbouring Kruger Products plant. Heat will be rejected through chillers into the Ottawa River to efficiently produce chilled water to cool the buildings. In the interim, temporary plants in Ontario and Quebec heat/cool the current buildings powered by gas. The permanent plant will be completed in 2021 and the DES is expected to go online at the same time.
Key dates and Milestones
2019 – NRCan supports project with initial Energy Innovation grant
2019 – Completion of temporary plant; distribution pipes in Ontario; completion of Quebec loop
2020 – Hydro Quebec supports project with “subvention de développement urbain durable” grant
2020 – Start of permanent plant construction
2020 – Agreement signed with Kruger to harvest effluent energy
2021 – Fully operational zero-carbon district energy system
2032 – Full build-out of Zibi community and DES