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The Federal government has announced that it will modernize and decarbonize the district heating and cooling system in the nation’s capital. It has signed a 35-year agreement with Innovate Energy, a consortium consisting of ENGIE Services Canada, PCL Constructors Canada, PCL Investments Canada and Black & McDonald, to upgrade technology, and to maintain and operate plants.

Five plants in Ottawa and Gatineau heat 80 buildings with steam, and cool 67 of them with chilled water, through more than 14 kilometres of underground pipes. In the first five years of the agreement, the group will convert the system from steam to low temperature hot water, electric chillers, and carbon free energy in two phases. This is expected to reduce greenhouse gases first by 63%, then by a further 28%. It will also result in operating savings of approximately $750 million over 40 years.

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