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Dockside Green celebrates being selected as a model 'Climate Positive Development' by the Clinton Climate Initiative and opens their onsite Biomass Heat Generation Plant

Dockside Green celebrates being selected as a model 'Climate Positive Development' by the Clinton Climate Initiative and opens their onsite Biomass Heat Generation Plant

Victoria, BC, July 7, 2009 – Dockside Green is proud to announce that their project has been selected as one of two Canadian developments, and one of 16 communities around the world that the Clinton Climate Initiative has named as founding “Climate Positive Developments”.  Today also celebrates the successful completion of the onsite Biomass Heat Generation Plant - a project which has been central to Dockside Green being selected as a model development from a climate change perspective.

Clinton Climate Initiative

The Clinton Climate Initiative (CCI) created the Climate Positive Development Program in collaboration with the US Green Building Council. The program will support the development of large-scale urban projects that demonstrate cities can grow in ways that are “climate positive”.   Climate Positive real estate developments will strive to reduce the amount of on-site building energy CO2 emissions to below zero. 

This goal is to be achieved through the implementation of economically viable innovations including clean energy generation, integrated waste management, energy efficient lighting strategies, integrated water management, green and efficient buildings, transit oriented design and other climate change strategies. 

“Choosing renewable energy sources in our buildings will lead to real reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. The Biomass Heat Generation Plant at Dockside Green is a strong example of the kind of innovation that communities around the world need to adopt as we forge a new path towards the creation of Climate Positive communities,” said Elee Muslin, director of the Clinton Climate Initiative at the William J. Clinton Foundation.

“By participating in this program, Dockside Green, co-developed by Vancity and Windmill West, has committed to use its experience to demonstrate how new urban real estate developments around the world can reduce their net greenhouse gas emissions below zero from a building energy perspective and also contribute in other ways including through the restoration of natural systems.  We are extremely proud to be able to share our experience with the world,” said Joe Van Belleghem, partner of Dockside Green.

Biomass Heat Generation Plant

The on-site Biomass Heat Generation Plant is one of the key strategies that will allow Dockside Green to be Climate Positive (greenhouse gas positive) from a building energy perspective. 

By generating surplus renewable energy in the form of heat that can be sold off-site, Dockside Green will be able to compensate for the greenhouse gases generated on-site through electricity and the delivery of the waste wood biomass to the development.

The onsite creation and use of green energy is very appealing for some residents who have chosen to buy homes at Dockside Green.  “I am really excited that the developers of Dockside Green are being so proactive about energy and environmental issues. The fact that we have excess capacity for others in our community is an added bonus. It’s great knowing that our heating system that will help keep carbon out of the atmosphere, while also reducing my heating bills,” says Dockside Green resident Taylor Kennedy.

The Biomass Heat Generation Plant was manufactured by BC’s own Nexterra Systems Corp. and is owned by Dockside Green Energy (a partnership between Vancity Capital, Corix Utlities Inc. and Terasen).  Support was also received from BC Hydro, from the federal and provincial government and the City of Victoria.

The plant will eventually provide heat and hot water to all 26 buildings on the 7.3 million square foot site via underground pipes, eliminating the need for other heat sources such as natural gas or hydro-electricity. The biomass fuel used at Dockside Green consists of wood waste derived from land-clearing activities, the remains of two-by-fours used in construction and used pallets- all which are being provided by The Alpine Group, a local waste management company.  Biomass supplied to Dockside is converted by Nexterra’s gasification technology into a clean burning synthetic gas or “syngas” which is used to generate heat and hot water.

“Dockside Green has shown that the challenges associated with global warming can be converted in to powerful economic opportunities through the adoption of clean energy solutions that meet both economic and environmental objectives,” said Jonathan Rhone president and CEO of Nexterra Systems Corp. “It has been a great pleasure for Nexterra to work with the Dockside Green team on a project that is establishing a new standard of urban living, design and sustainability.”

Switching from natural gas heating to heating with syngas produced from biomass wood waste will reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 3460 tonnes per year, the equivalent of taking  850 cars off the road. A portion of this reduction will be realized by selling excess heat to nearby entities.  Energy efficient building design will further reduce energy demands and the resulting carbon dioxide emissions.

Additional Climate Positive Initiatives at Dockside Green

The Biomass Heat Generation Plant is just one way that Dockside Green is participating in the Climate Positive Development Program.  Other central initiatives include:

  1. Integrated waste management and water management: 100 per cent of the waste water is being treated onsite with compressed waste being converted back into heat through the biomass system.
  2. Energy efficiency: Buildings are 48 to 52 more energy efficient than the Canadian Model National Energy Code.
  3. Green and efficient buildings:  The first phase received the highest ever LEED Platinum record for new residential construction.
  4. Urban ecology: Creation of a naturalized creek system, native and adaptive plant species and more.
  5. Alternative transportation: Car share program, subsidized transit passes, abundant bike storage, bike friendly path networks.

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Media Contacts:
Melinda Jolley, The Tartan Group
Ph: 250-592-3838 or cell 250-896-3848

Trisha Lees, The Tartan Group
Ph: 250-592-3838 or cell 250-896-3838