Drilling begins on energy system at Oakville’s Oakvillage community

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March 28, 2022 at 4:34 pm

Drilling began Monday on a community energy system that will reduce fossil fuel use for space heating and cooling by 95 per cent at Oakville’s North Oak Towers.

One of the first of its kind in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), the geo-exchange community energy system being installed is the first step in bringing low carbon energy to Oakville’s master-planned development located at Dundas St. E and Trafalgar Rd.

The partnership between Minto Communities GTA and Creative Energy will significantly reduced fossil fuel usage, protecting residents from rising utility and energy costs.

On hand for the start of drilling were Oakville Mayor Rob Burton, Ward 7 Regional and Town Councillor Pavan Parmar, Mike LaPlante, Vice President of Land Development, Minto Communities GTA, Krishnan Iyer, President and CEO, Creative Energy and Diego Mandelbaum, VP of Development, Creative Energy.

“In 2019, the Town of Oakville declared a climate emergency and established a community-wide targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 50 per cent by 2041,” said Burton.

“This initiative is a great example of the joint effort needed – between Town staff and Council, businesses, and residents – towards a sustainable energy transition and a more livable future.”

How the geo-exchange works is by allowing the earth beneath the buildings to act as a thermal battery.

When the buildings need heating in the winter, heat removed from the earth is used and thus avoiding the need to burn natural gas.

When the buildings need cooling in the summer, the heat is removed from the buildings and put back in the earth avoiding the need to run a cooling tower which uses both potable water and electricity.

The heat is move into and out of the earth by heat pumps, and the geo-system connected to those heat pumps act as a heat exchanger with the earth.

Hundreds of underground boreholes will be drilled 800-ft. under the footprint of each building, which will circulate he water as the heat exchange medium.

“Sustainability has always been a core tenet of our work and we pledge to continue to push the needle on sustainable infrastructure and implementing innovative technologies that benefit homeowners, our communities, and our world.”

North Oak phase 4A was launched in March 2021, followed by 4B in July of 2021.

Once complete, they will be part of a five-tower block in the 38-hecatre master-planned community that offers a mix of traditional, back-to-back and rear lane townhomes and condos.

The community will also include a scenic 1.5 km multi-use trail woven throughout the site and connections to retail, restaurants, public transit and major highways.

Completion is slated for 2027 with a new tower launch planned for the summer.

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