News / Halifax

Halifax wants to use thermal energy from waste water treatment plant to heat future Cogswell buildings

Halifax Water would harness heat from the nearby sewage treatment plant to create enough energy to heat and cool whatever goes up at the Cogswell Interchange.

The Cogswell Street Interchange, where Halifax hopes to create up to 1,600 residential units, six acres of development, six acres of street space, four acres of public space, and three kilometres of bike lanes.

Jeff Harper / Metro Order this photo

The Cogswell Street Interchange, where Halifax hopes to create up to 1,600 residential units, six acres of development, six acres of street space, four acres of public space, and three kilometres of bike lanes.

When buildings finally go up over what is now the Cogswell Interchange, the municipality hopes to have them all tied into one environmentally friendly source of energy.

Halifax regional council’s Environment and Sustainability Standing Committee voted Thursday to have staff figure out how to require anything built on the future Cogswell Interchange redevelopment lands to be tied into what’s called a district energy system (DES).

Coal or other fuels can power a DES, but in this case, Halifax Water would harness heat from the nearby sewage treatment plant to create thermal energy. The utility says that energy would be enough to provide heating and cooling to the Cogswell redevelopment area.

The municipality currently doesn’t have the power to require buildings be tied into a DES, so the committee voted to have staff seek amendments from the province to allow for one.

The Cogswell project as a whole still does not have full council approval. That decision is to be made when the final design process for the redevelopment hits the 60 per cent completion mark, which is expected to happen this summer.

The goal of the redevelopment is to create up to 1,600 residential units, six acres of development, six acres of street space, four acres of public space, and three kilometres of bike lanes.

Students give municipality mediocre grade on climate action

The municipality isn’t failing when it comes to action on climate change, but it’s certainly not at the top of its class either.

The Youth Climate Report Card, presented to council’s environmental committee on Wednesday by Halifax West student Maggie Ivimey and University of Kings College student Cameron Yetman, members of iMatter, gives Halifax Regional Municipality a C+.

HRM scored an A+ on waste, but got C- on having a zero emissions plan and renewable energy, a C on carbon removal and a failing grade on youth involvement.

Ivimey and Yetman told the committee that they’d like young people to be more involved in the municipality’s climate change action, and to see a plan to get to HRM to zero emissions by 2040.

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