Creative Energy is proposing a bold new plan with the help of BC Hydro to bring low-carbon energy to its existing and future customers in downtown Vancouver. The current customers in the area receive the electricity for their heating requirements from Creative Energy’s plant that burns natural gas to produce steam. This heats over 200 buildings across more than 45 million square feet of connected real estate in downtown Vancouver and Northeast False Creek. The energy system provides heat and hot water to St. Paul’s Hospital, BC Place Stadium, Rogers Arena, the Vancouver Central Library, the Vancouver Convention Centre, and over 100 residential buildings.

Now, using renewable energy renewable electricity sold by BC Hydro, the Creative Energy Decarbonization Project will add new electrode steam boilers to the existing natural gas-powered steam plant. Once in place, the plant will have enough capacity to serve approximately 12 million square feet of new development, enough to serve over 10 years of growth in low-carbon buildings in downtown, the West End, North East False Creek, and False Creek Flats.

“The climate crisis requires all of us to look at how we operate and find creative solutions to address emissions,” said Krishnan Iyer, President and CEO of Creative Energy. “Our collaboration with BC Hydro to decarbonize our energy system will not only help environmentally conscious developers and customers achieve their sustainability goals, but also contribute to a longer-term goal of decarbonizing downtown Vancouver by avoiding 38,000 tonnes of greenhouses gases from Creative Energy’s system each year.”

“We are excited to partner with Creative Energy on their move to heat buildings across downtown with our clean electricity,” said Chris O’Riley, President and CEO of BC Hydro. “This project helps support electrification goals and reduces greenhouse gas emissions by the equivalent of removing 12,000 gas powered cars from the road each year.”

As a regulated public utility, Creative Energy will seek approval for the project from the BC Utilities Commission in 2021. Subject to regulatory approvals and a final investment decision, it is anticipated that commissioning of the electric boiler plant would take place in 2024.