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UWindsor Marks Key Milestone In Green Journey

Wednesday August 23rd, 2023, 4:20pm

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Leadership from the University of Windsor and Enbridge Gas pose with cheques in front of the new hybrid chiller at the Energy Conversion Centre. (Photo by University of Windsor)

The University of Windsor reaffirmed its commitment to sustainability on campus with the installation of a new dual drive, electric-steam turbine chiller — the first of its kind at a Canadian university.

The innovative chiller, driving the heating/cooling and ventilation systems in about 30 buildings across campus, was unveiled Wednesday alongside University leadership, students, staff and Enbridge Gas representatives. The installation project denotes one of the largest sustainability initiatives UWindsor has undertaken this year and is part of an ambitious plan to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 45 per cent in seven years and net zero by 2050.

“This milestone project marks our unwavering dedication to environmental stewardship and energy efficiency,” said Gillian Heisz, University of Windsor’s vice-president, Finance and Operations. “It not only supports our sustainability objectives but also hopefully inspires others to embrace similar measures.”

Located within the Energy Conversion Centre on Patricia Street, the York YST chiller uses energy-efficient electricity, complemented by alternative steam energy. By seamlessly combining these two energy sources, the advanced hybrid technology will reduce the equivalent of 8,300 tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions each year by minimizing natural gas usage and saving an estimated annual operating budget of over $1 million. The reduction in CO2 emissions is equivalent to removing 2,000 cars off the roads in a single year. The GHG emission reduction by installing this new hybrid chiller is anticipated to achieve 82 per cent of UWindsor’s 2030 GHG emission reduction target.

Representatives from Enbridge Gas were also on hand to celebrate the chiller installation and present incentives of $200,000 as part of UWindsor’s participation in their Commercial Energy Efficiency program in support of companies meeting their sustainability goals. Including today’s incentive, UWindsor has received more than $438,400 from Enbridge Gas since 2018 by reducing reliance on natural gas through energy-efficient equipment upgrades, installation of demand-control ventilation systems and more. The new chiller will contribute to dramatically increasing energy savings and reducing emissions.

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