Forks Renewal Corporation brings clean energy to downtown Winnipeg buildings with support from Canada

From: Environment and Climate Change Canada
Improving energy efficiency and creating a healthier environment. Geothermal system at Forks, Winnipeg, MB.
The Forks Renewal Corp. is cutting the use of natural gas in its buildings in downtown Winnipeg with a geothermal energy system funded in part by the Low Carbon Economy Fund.

Climate change is the greatest long-term threat that we face as a global community, yet it also represents an enormous economic opportunity.

Communities across the country want and deserve access to clean air, clean water and a healthy environment, as they increasingly experience the effects of climate change. Together, we are working relentlessly to improve our resilience and understanding in order to better address climate change and adapt to its impacts.

Today, the Honourable Daniel Vandal, Minister of Northern Affairs, on behalf of the Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Environment and Climate Change, announced that the Forks Renewal Corporation is receiving approximately $1.8 million to build a district geothermal system that will provide heating and cooling to its buildings in downtown Winnipeg. The Forks Renewal Corporation is also contributing close to $2.7 million to this project.

The new system will eliminate greenhouse gas emissions by replacing gas consumption as a heating and cooling fuel source for the Forks Renewal Corporation buildings. The district geothermal system is also designed to allow future expansion to service other buildings and planned new developments on the Forks site. Over the lifetime of this project, the Forks Renewal Corporation will see a cumulative reduction of approximately 26,000 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions (GHG)-equivalent to saving about 11 million litres of gasoline.

The federal funding comes from the Partnerships stream of the Government of Canada’s Low Carbon Economy Challenge, which invests in projects that reduce carbon pollution and supports industries to put in place clean technologies that will help them be more efficient and innovative.

Investments in climate action initiatives like this reaffirm the Government of Canada’s commitment to fight climate change, create good jobs, and grow a clean economy.

Quotes

“The Government of Canada supports innovative projects that reduce emissions, lead to tangible action on climate change, and create good jobs. Today’s announcement highlights some of the important work led by Canadian businesses such as the Forks Renewal Corporation to build a cleaner and healthier future. Leadership on strategic projects like the one announced today will make sure Canada exceeds its target and achieves net-zero emissions by 2050.”

– The Honourable Daniel Vandal, Minister of Northern Affairs

“Railside at The Forks is an important project full of big ideas and amazing public spaces. It will also create employment opportunities, add a variety of additional housing, provide economic return, celebrate culture and more. The district geothermal system was key to the vision for Railside as a green development and as part of our overall Target Zero goals. The financial support from the federal government through the Low Carbon Economy Fund is instrumental in making this possible. We thank Minister Vandal for his support and his government’s ongoing commitment to the environment.”

– Sara Stasiuk, VP, Finance and Operations, The Forks North Portage

Quick facts

  • The district geothermal system, once complete, will replace natural gas consumption in the 248,000 sq ft buildings, thereby eliminating all directly related GHG emissions.

  • The Low Carbon Economy Fund, which includes the Partnerships stream, is an important part of Canada’s climate action plan, helping to put Canada on a path to exceed the emissions target for 2030.

  • The Partnerships stream provides up to $50 million in funding to Indigenous communities and organizations, small and medium-sized businesses, not-for-profit organizations, and small municipalities.

  • The Low Carbon Economy Fund supports energy-efficient projects in provinces and territories across Canada, which will help communities save money by lowering energy costs.

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