This long weekend, the University of Guelph will be giving thanks to the Federal government and MP Lloyd Longfield for about three quarters of a million dollars in new funding to upgrade campus’ environmental sustainability. This holiday weekend, the U of G is getting the gift of more energy efficiency, and more chargers for electric vehicles.
On a Zoom call this morning, Longfield announced $640,000 from the Low Carbon Economy Fund that will be used to upgrade the expansion of the campus flue gas heat recovery system by installing heat pumps to integrate the University Centre with a handful of other campus buildings. Daniel Atlin, VP External for the the U of G, said that enhancements will reduce greenhouse gases (GHG) by 2,075 tonnes annually.
“Canadians know that climate change threatens our health, our way of life and planet, and they want to see climate action now, which is what the government will continue to deliver through announcements like the one we’re making today,” said Longfield, who touted the Liberal government’s record of action of climate change, including the Greenhouse Gas Pollution Pricing Act, or the carbon tax.
The U of G will also receive $106,650 from Natural Resources Canada’s Zero-Emission Vehicle Infrastructure Program to install 20 new Level 2 EV charging stations on campus, which will nearly double the current compliment of chargers on campus to bring the number up to 45. The U of G will be contributing $100,000 of their own money to bring the total budget for the project up to $206,650.
“The University of Guelph is committed to putting green initiatives into everyday practice and improving the quality of life for our university, and local community,” Atlin said. “These two investments not only benefit the environment, but our students will also have the opportunity to see how the power of knowledge becomes real to life in meaningful ways.”
According to Atlin, the new chargers should be installed by August 2021.
“When you look at how this ties in with the electric buses coming to the bus terminal and the community car share that has parking spaces at the university as well, this is part of the bigger picture of how the University of Guelph is committing to provide greener transportation options for people that are working and studying on campus,” Longfield added.
The bigger portion of the funding though is the upgrade to the heat recovery system, a model where the Central Utilities Plant behind Johnson Hall uses tunnels to deliver steam from the boilers to heat nearly a dozen nearby buildings. The system is about 100 years old, but its taken on new relevance as the institution has looked to reduce its carbon footprint.
Atlin said that geography is the big issue in trying to connect the UC to the heating recovery system as so far the U of G has concentrated on the buildings closest to the plant. “The University Centre is a little bit farther away, and a little bit more complex to connect so we’re reaching out further and taking on a bit more with this job when it comes to complexity compared to the the first buildings” he explained.
Work on connected the University Centre to the heat recovery system will begin sometime in 2022, and will be compete by 2023.