By David F. Rooney
The Revelstoke Community Energy Corporation is seeking input from the community regarding its future, a future that could include service expansions to Queen Victoria Hospital and even Revelstoke Mountain Resort.
But it could do more. RCEC Chairman David Johnson is interested in what many European district energy systems do — provide heat to private homes and apartments as well as municipal buildings and businesses.
At an open house to discuss the development of a Community Energy and Emmissions Plan, Johnson said consultants looked at the entire City and found only three areas where expansion made sense right now. The first was the central core of the city. The second was South Revelstoke and the third was the resort lands.
He said RCEC has been discussing a possible hook up by QVH to the district energy system and with the expansion last year of RCEC heat piping down Mackenzie Avenue and elsewhere in the core, hooking up businesses is now easier to do. It’s not cheap, though, and the cost of hooking up a single home to a system is prohibitive. Johnson said some European systems get around that by hooking four or five homes to one connection point.
The involvement of a corporate partner might help.
Johnson said Terasen has expressed some interest in working with RCEC as its works to expand its district energy system. Say the company’s name and the first thing to spring to mind might be propane, but it is really involved in developing a wide range or energy solutions for customers. (You can discover more about Terasen’s vision for community solutions at www.terasen.com)
Tony Pham of Terasen said the discussions are, at this point just “an expression of interest.” However, that could change and we might at some point see Terasen partnered with RCEC to deliver energy to a much larger swath of the community.
The City is also surveying public opinion on this issue.
“We are currently conducting a survey for our Community Energy and Emissions Plan (CEEP),” planner Jessica Stuart said in an e-mail to The Current. “Please visit the following site to complete the survey: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/QCHNZDZ.
“We also have hard copies of the survey in our office and at the Rec Centre for those without computer access. The survey closes Friday, November 5.”