Re: City pushing satellite district energy system for Revelstoke Crossing, Aug. 1, 2012.
We appreciate the Times’ approach to investigative journalism and relish the community dialogue the paper stimulates.
We believe this particular article presented a somewhat biased viewpoint by focusing future District Energy expansion toward a particular development (especially in the caption) – Revelstoke Crossing – a proposed restaurant and hotel development next to the Trans-Canada Highway east of Subway.
From a planning and development perspective the proposed policy in the Official Community Plan (OCP) is to “Develop district energy service area bylaws and policies with mandatory hook-ups based on sound business plans and market strategies” – not to single out anyone owner or developer.
The proposed changes to the OCP are out for public review – please see the public notice on the city page of the paper.
As mentioned in the August 14 Council staff report, the intention is to explore district energy policies and bylaws in concert with the business community to achieve a “win-win.” That is, district energy that reduces costs for owners and operators, and at the same time minimizes greenhouse gas impacts and improves energy efficiency.
The article correctly indicates that bylaws are not in place to require energy ready systems (hot water systems, for example) or to mandate hook-up to district energy.
The highway corridor is a great opportunity for future expansion and a potential satellite plant is discussed in the council adopted District Energy and Expansion Plan.
Although the draft OCP supports these goals, there are miles to go before the community, businesses and council can positively affirm an energy partnership.
Again the department appreciates the paper’s initiatives and we continue to encourage ongoing communication on this and other topics.’