The Canada Infrastructure Bank (CIB) has reached financial close on the world’s largest raw wastewater energy transfer project, located at Toronto Western Hospital, part of the University Health Network (UHN).

Renewable energy company Noventa Energy Partners (Noventa) worked with UHN with the support of Enbridge Gas to develop the $42.9 million project which will provide approximately 90 per cent of the hospital’s heating and cooling requirements.

“We are proud to partner with UHN and private-sector partners on our first public building retrofit investment. The project will dramatically lower GHG emissions at the hospital while helping UHN meet its climate change commitments,” said Ehren Cory, CEO of CIB. “We look forward to working with more public sector asset owners and the private sector to invest in new energy retrofit projects which consider long-term sustainability and action on climate change.”

Under the terms of the agreement, the CIB will invest up to $19.3 million in subordinated debt and Vancity Community Investment Bank will invest $15.3 million in senior debt.

Equity partners include Noventa and Enbridge Gas, while UHN will make a capital contribution. The Government of Canada is providing a grant under the Environment and Climate Change Canada – Low Carbon Economy Fund.

The retrofit project will use the Huber ThermWin®️ System and Noventa IP to transfer thermal energy to and from wastewater flowing in the mid-Toronto interceptor sewer to provide low-carbon heating and cooling to the hospital.

As a result, the hospital’s natural gas use and water consumption will be significantly reduced. Over the next 30 years, the hospital will see a cumulative reduction in greenhouse gas emissions of more than 250,000 tonnes.

“We are pleased to have achieved financial close for this important renewable energy project that will demonstrate the viability of wastewater energy transfer as a low-carbon means of heating and cooling our buildings,” said Dennis Fotinos, CEO, Noventa Energy Partners. “This milestone would not have been possible without the support of the University Health Network and the City of Toronto and our project partners, Enbridge Gas, the Canada Infrastructure Bank and VanCity Community Investment Bank.”

This is the first project under the CIB’s Public Building Retrofits Initiative, which seeks to achieve significant energy savings from infrastructure owned and/or managed by the public sector.

Construction activities began at Toronto Western Hospital earlier this month.

“Enbridge Gas is pleased to be a partner in developing the largest wastewater heat recovery system in the world. It’s an important step in protecting our natural resources as well as leveraging ‘waste’ to create clean energy solutions,” said Cynthia Hansen, president of Enbridge Gas. “We are committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions through a variety of initiatives, and this is one example of how we are investing our resources to further assist Ontario’s transition to a greener future.”

Toronto Western Hospital is a 272-bed academic health science centre dedicated to delivering exceptional patient care, providing a breadth of services from emergency care to sophisticated brain surgery.

Featured image, from left to right: Vince Gasparo, Vancity Community Bank; Dennis Fotinos, Noventa Energy; Ed Rubinstein, UHN; Ron Swail, UHN; Abbas Chagani, Enbridge Gas; Cynthia Hansen, Enbridge Gas; Stephen Condie, Noventa Energy; and, Ehren Cory, CIB. Image credit: CIB.

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