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Erich Fussle from Pytrade Canada and Tony Phan along with the Kitimat City Council
REPORTING · 30th April 2010
Walter McFarlane
Erich Fussle from Pytrade Canada and Tony Phan from Terasen Gas stepped up to give a presentation at Kitimat City Council on Monday, April 26th after the public had a chance to speak to Council. The title of the presentation was: “Energy Solutions for British Columbia.” He expressed that he had been introduced to Mayor Joanne Monaghan though Fussl

“We’re looking to develop, own and operate alternative energy systems,” said Pham. “[We want] to utilize a variety of energy sources and technology specific to a project or municipality. […] and own and operate integrated energy systems within BC Utility Commission regulated structures.”

He cited biomass, geo exchange and solar power as three of the different types of alternate energies they wish to utilize. They also wish to provide cost effective rates to customers while bringing fair returns to their shareholders. He played a short video clip for Council.

He explained they can build stand alone developments or a community scale project rather than on a house by house basis. The benefit is this reduces the demand on BC’s electrical grid and reduces the carbon footprint for homes.

He mentioned the district energy system, an example given in the video for Victoria’s Dockside Greens which is Greenhouse gas neutral with no net emissions. “A 2.5 megawatt biomass gasification plant with 3.4 megawatt natural gas for bathing and heating. It also serves buildings outside the development itself and a partnership venture for Terason,” explained Pham.

Pham explained they have been a natural gas delivery company for residential and commercial and now they are looking at alternative energies and create green alternatives. They are even looking at creating a compressed or liquid natural gas for vehicles.

Terasen Gas is also looking at upgrading existing systems. He pointed out they could take the heat off of the arena and put it into the pool for heating as an example which the District has already done. If the time ever came to upgrade, the company will offer to invest to make the system green. They would take over the ownership of the system, the risk and make sure it runs safely, efficiently and reliably.

“Our business motto? We’re looking to develop equipment, supply, own and finance and ultimately to upgrade and maintain an energy system,” said Pham. “Achieve alternative energy system solutions to meet the customer's needs.”

Pham went through partnership options and explained they are trying to make it easy for municipalities to run with the program and explore alternative energy options.

He asked the Council if they had signed on to the BC Climate Action Charter. Councillor Mario Feldhoff replied they have not. Council had done the homework and looked at the cost of becoming carbon neutral.

Feldhoff was pleased to see Pytrade and Terasen Gas were working together. He asked if Teresen Gas would take a second look to see if it was feasible to heat other district buildings using the excess heat from the arena. Pham suggested council enter into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) and then they could send someone in to look at the facilities. He added the MOU would be non-binding.

Monaghan suggested in this exploration, they would look at what they spend and what the alternative would cost. Pham replied this is what they would do as well as estimate what the carbon reduction would be. They would take it one step at a time.

Councillor Rob Goffinet wanted clarification. He asked if the Council entered into an MOU, they would consult with the engineering teams to bring out efficiencies in how they use energy. Pham explained they would look at Gas Consumption Data, electrical data, the price they pay for natural gas and give them a new concept design. They know what the displacement and the reduction of expenses would be. They would try matching the dollar amount to what they are already paying as Council is trying to pay less. They would see the savings in the long term.

“Typically, the operational amount that you see right off the start is based on: you have a system that you already have and were going to upgrade anyway. You put in some dollars for a new boiler, a new furnace, a new mechanical system. If you put some dollars in and we put some in, the more we put in, the larger the return on our investment would be required,” said Pham.

He said Terasen would foot the bill for part or even all of it for changing. Monaghan clarified what the operation would be. Pham explained higher costs could be further down the road in later projects.

With no other questions, Monaghan thanked them for coming and Councillor Feldhoff motioned to move into a non binding Memorandum of Understanding. It was called and carried.