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Exciting new venture

The Community Energy Initiative approved by council in 2007 is starting to bear fruit. Pipes have been laid for a new high-efficiency heating and cooling system centred in the Sleeman Centre, described as a first step toward building North America’s first city-wide district energy network.
It’s comforting to realize that district energy is a time-honoured concept. The U of G has used a district energy network to heat and cool its buildings for decades, and such systems are found in North America at some other universities, hospitals and clusters of government buildings. But Guelph, following Europe’s example, is planning for an interconnected thermal grid to serve industrial, commercial and residential buildings across this city.
The Community Energy Initiative has been attracting a lot of attention to Guelph. One hoped-for benefit is that companies working in the energy sector will be drawn to locate here because of it, creating local jobs. All in all, it’s an initiative that could have far-reaching and exciting consequences for the city.

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