Dale Mikkelsen, Director of Development for the SFU Community Trust recently published an Op Ed piece in the Vancouver Sun responding to recent Sun coverage of new district energy systems at UniverCity and elsewhere in BC. ‘UniverCity’s energy consumers will get last laugh’ discusses the merits of utilizing district energy to generate heat. Mikkelsen takes exception to the Sun’s coverage of district energy costs. He argues there are significant cost savings in the district energy system at UniverCity, and that “in a world where fossil fuel prices are subject to startling price spikes and where greenhouse gas emissions are endangering the planet, district energy utilities are sure to become an increasingly popular part of the solution.”
Compass worked with Dale during the early development of the system at UniverCity. After a preliminary screening study of district energy opportunities, Compass helped the Trust develop a Request for Expressions of Interest for a private developer and operator to serve Phases 3 and 4 of UniverCity, a model sustainable community on Trust lands adjacent to Simon Fraser University. After Corix was selected as the successful proponent, Compass assisted the Trust in guiding and reviewing a detailed feasibility study and then negotiating an Infrastructure Agreement to support implementation of the Neighbourhood Utility System. Compass also reviewed Corix's application to the BC Utilities Commission for a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity. For the past year, Compass has supported SFU in negotiating the possible development of a larger biomass system to serve both the neighbourhood and the campus district energy system, which is currently served by a 40-year old gas-fired boiler plant.