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Markham commits to becoming Canada’s largest net-zero emissions city

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Markham commits to becoming Canada’s largest net-zero emissions city

 Markham City Hall

The City of Markham has set out to become a net-zero emissions city by 2050, as a result of a collaboration with Mattamy Homes Canada and Enwave Energy Corp.

The partners have announced an arrangement to research and design a pilot of about 300 homes in the Berczy-Glen neighbourhood, serviced by a community-scale distributed geothermal energy system for heating, cooling and domestic hot water.

“This is first major step to achieving our goal of becoming net-zero water, waste and emissions community by 2050, and this one of many innovative initiatives you will see with development partners,” says Markham Mayor Frank Scarpitti. “Markham is a municipal leader in energy conservation and management. This project will set the standard for a new way of thinking about how we generate and distribute energy in North America.”

Model community

“This forward-thinking business model, where the burden of optimizing advanced heating and cooling equipment is transferred from the home owner to a private entity, will contribute to job creation and drive innovation adoption in the housing industry,” adds Brad Carr, CEO of Mattamy Homes Canada. “Mattamy has a long history of leadership in home building innovation, and we see this partnership as clearly aligned with our sustainability and innovation strategy.”

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To achieve Markham’s target, the Municipal Energy Plan – Getting to Zero includes strategies for increasing and improving energy efficiency through implementing green technology, energy conservation and efficiency in all sectors of Markham.

Grant funding has been provided by The Atmospheric Fund (TAF) for design activities.

Located in north Markham, the community in Berczy-Glen will utilize deep wells up to 250 metres, allowing the community to tap into geothermal energy. Heating and cooling will be delivered at the neighborhood level, through a single common ambient pipe buried underneath the community and connected to each home, similar to that of an electrical grid. The system will be maintained and operated by Enwave’s team of engineers, who will ensure the system is efficient and reliable.

Consumer benefit

This community scale model boasts several benefits to consumers, including: Greater energy efficiency through optimization; increased energy savings; reduced maintenance burden and costs; and reduced greenhouse gas emissions. All of these benefits will increase comfort and convenience for residents.

Upon completion of the pilot, the model may be applied to future phases of the Mattamy development. The best practices and lessons learned from this partnership will help advance geothermal community energy systems across the GTA and beyond.

Construction is expected to begin in 2020.

How the geothermal system will work

  • Geothermal energy supplies space heating and cooling, as well as hot water, to each home
  • A closed loop piping system is installed 600 to 800 ft. underground, creating a ground heat exchanger
  • In winter, heat is extracted from the ground by circulating fluid through the pipes
  • The heater water is then circulated throughout the community and into individual homes
  • After the heated fluid is delivered to each home, the cooled fluid circulates back to the ground

 

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