Vice President Facilities and Operations

Our District Energy System

UAlberta owns and operates its own district energy system.

A district energy system produces thermal energy at a central plant. Underground pipes distribute this energy to individual buildings in a defined area.

Our district energy system includes:

  • A heating plant
  • Two cooling plants
  • A thermal energy storage system
  • Two electrical switching stations
  • An extensive storm and sanitary system

More than ten kilometers of service corridors bring steam, electricity, natural gas, compressed air, and domestic, demineralized and chilled water to the Greater Campus Area.

Benefiting from District Energy

Owning and operating our own district energy system has many benefits. District energy systems give off fewer emissions than conventional energy systems.

Our district energy system prevents about 60,000 tons of carbon dioxide emissions from entering our atmosphere each year.

Owning our own utility is also cost effective—it means we are participants in Alberta’s deregulated energy market. By managing our power production and natural gas purchases, we reduce operating costs for the university.

Our district energy system gives us flexibility and control over our energy production and consumption. As UAlberta grows, we will continue to meet its utility needs.

Compared to a conventional energy system, our district energy system saves the university millions of dollars a year. That means the university can invest more money in teaching and research.