CANADIAN GOVERNMENT ANNOUNCES FUNDING FOR GREEN INFRASTRUCTURE
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The federal government announced on August 7 over $37 million in funding for 27 green infrastructure projects across Canada.
The funds will be provided through the Municipalities for Climate Innovation Program (MCIP) and the Green Municipal Fund, delivered by the Federation of Canadian Municipalities and funded by the Government of Canada.
The announcement was made by Minister of Infrastructure and Communities François-Philippe Champagne and President of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) Vicki-May Hamm.
Minister Champagne said "local projects like the ones we're announcing today will create new opportunities to grow the economy and strengthen the middle class, while improving energy efficiency and reducing our carbon footprint."
Funding will go towards projects like electric vehicle charging stations, public building energy retrofits, flood mitigation, increasing public transit, integrating solar panels into municipal infrastructure, and even electric-powered Zambonis.
Overall, the projects will reduce the risk of flooding, cut energy bills, extend the life of municipal infrastructure, improve watershed health, and reduce carbon footprint.
Of the different projects, the Region of Waterloo in Ontario will receive a grant of $750 000 along with a loan of $5 million to build cogeneration facilities, also known as combined heat and power, at three of their wastewater treatment facilities.
The facilities in Kitchener, Galt and Waterloo will use biogas, a naturally produced fuel in the wastewater process, to produce heat and electricity. The biogas is expected to produce between 50 to 80 percent of the plants electricity needs year round.
Senior Project Engineer of Water Services for the Region of Waterloo Pam Law said a handful of Ontario municipalities are already doing it. She said that for them, it came up as a recommendation in 2011-2012 in one of their meetings on how to manage biosolids.
Law said "we are going to be reducing our electrical consumption at 3 of our facilities, so we’ve got 13 wastewater treatment plants and at our 3 largest facilities is where we have this ... so we’ll no longer be importing that off the grid, we will be generating it on site."
The amount of electricity offset varies according to the facility. The two smaller facilities in Galt and Waterloo will be saving between 50 to 60%, while the large one in Kitchener will be saving around 80%.
Law explained "we take the biogas which is like methane, it’s a natural gas type product, but it’s renewable ... we take the gas and put it into a cogeneration engine. It’s similar to a stand-by power emergency generator where you take gas in and then you combust the gas to then produce electricity."
Cogeneration means they will be using both end products off the combustion process. Law added, "we will produce electricity that will be used at the site and then we capture the heat of the combustion to use that heat energy."
Law said they began designing the facilities two years ago and should be starting construction in the fall.
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