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Bay Adelaide North Tower expands Enwave energy partnership

Brookfield Properties and Enwave Energy Corporation are teaming up to make the new Bay Adelaide N...

IMAGE: The Bay Adelaide Centre in downtown Toronto. (Image courtesy Brookfield)

The Bay Adelaide Centre in downtown Toronto. The 32-storey North Tower will feature both the Enwave Deep Lake Water Cooling system as well as an innovative heating system. (Courtesy Brookfield)

Brookfield Properties and Enwave Energy Corporation are teaming up to make the new Bay Adelaide North office tower one of Toronto’s most thermally sustainable buildings.

The 32-storey Bay Adelaide North Tower, which is currently under construction and slated for completion in 2022, will be part of the existing Enwave Deep Lake Water Cooling (DLWC) system, as well as incorporating an innovative heating system which will capture and reuse residual heat.

The two sister companies (both are part of the Brookfield group of companies) say the systems will improve efficiency and add long-term value for tenants and investors. The North Tower is the third-and-final high-rise to be constructed at the Bay Adelaide complex, and will boast Scotiabank as its lead tenant.

“We’re headed in a direction where we’re looking at sources of lower carbon,” said Enwave Energy Corporation’s director of sustainability engagement Julia St. Michael.

Brookfield’s existing Bay Adelaide Centre towers – which have achieved LEED Gold and Platinum core and shell certifications and BOMA 360 designation – are already connected to Enwave’s DLWC system.

This world-renowned district energy system draws renewable cold water from Lake Ontario to cool downtown buildings. It’s a sustainable alternative to air conditioning and is being utilized by more than 180 downtown buildings.

“Iconic” Toronto heating, cooling system

St. Michael describes it as “our iconic system” in downtown Toronto which utilizes cold lake water “from far out and really deep. We use that to cool buildings in the downtown core so those buildings do not have chillers, they do not have water coolers or water towers, so they don’t use traditional methods of cooling in the summer.”

At the North Tower, Enwave will also build and operate — within the Bay Adelaide Centre complex — a hot water plant that generates heat from both natural gas and electrically powered heat pumps, enhancing resiliency and optimizing energy use. A supplemental heat pump will also capture residual heat from the DLWC system and reuse it to heat the building.

The system will be viable 12 months of the year because, even in January, not all building tenants will be cranking up their thermostats.

“We cool buildings year round,” St. Michael explained. “Some people find that surprising, but there are data centres and hospitals and other types of buildings that need a little bit of cooling, or a lot, in the middle of winter.”

By cooling these buildings, or sectors within buildings, “in essence, we are taking heat out of those buildings,” she said. “They’re dumping their heat into our system, which goes back to our centralized plant and it cools off again and then it goes back out cool. So, what we’re trying to do these days is take the heat from these buildings in the wintertime and give that heat to other buildings that want it.”

The core concept is energy sharing.

“It’s sort of a win-win because it has a system that is already taking heat out of the building, and then we can move it around in this dense urban downtown core,” said St. Michael.

Enwave still seeking more buildings

Enwave is looking for more partners like Bay Adelaide North who’d be interested in collaborating, “especially leading landlords that are thinking about low carbon,” reducing their energy usage and carbon footprint, she said.

“This is a really great solution for them.”

It’s exciting for Enwave, St. Michael added, “because we hope that it grows … quite a bit in the future.”

Compared to traditional in-house boilers, this is a lower-carbon, highly-efficient process that will reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions significantly.

“There’s enormous potential in low-carbon energy solutions,” said Enwave Canada president and COO Carlyle Coutinho in a release which announced the systems at Bay Adelaide North. “As the industry changes, Enwave will continue to push the envelope to find creative ways to drive value and resilience for our customers today and long-term.”

Compared to a chiller, Deep Lake Water Cooling can reduce electricity use by 80 per cent in a building. In Toronto, 75 buildings are connected to the system, with multiple expansions planned.

Enwave Energy Corporation is the largest core-competency district energy provider in North America. The private corporation is owned by Brookfield Infrastructure Partners and its institutional partners.

Enwave has assets in Toronto, Chicago, New Orleans, Houston, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Seattle, Portland, Windsor, London and Charlottetown, operating intelligent thermal energy systems that generate, store and share energy.

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