High school to go carbon neutral
Building magazine reported May 27 that the London, Ontario District Catholic School Board, in conjunction with Natural Resources Canada, Ameresco, and other partners have announced a project that will transform John Paul II Catholic Secondary School into Canada’s first carbon neutral school.
Following a successful feasibility study, the approximately $9.7 million project will allow JPII to generate its own energy requirements. Once completed in late 2020 and fully commissioned in early 2021, the project will reduce greenhouse gas emissions related to the energy required to heat, cool and provide electricity to the school at near-zero grid demand on an annual basis.
An energy microgrid will include geothermal heating and cooling, 2,300 solar panels will provide 804 kW DC of power, and an energy storage system will provide 1.1MW of power / 2.2 MWh of energy. An integrated building control system will utilize machine learning and artificial intelligence to reduce energy use to an absolute minimum while maintaining occupant safety and comfort. The microgrid will also allow the school’s energy systems to provide energy and other energy ancillary services to both the London Hydro and provincial electricity system while providing the school with resilient energy availability during both short- and long-term electrical outages. Covered parking spaces will include electric vehicle charging stations.
The project will be designed, built, owned and operated by Ameresco.
John Paul II is intended to be a showcase model for other school boards across Ontario and the rest of Canada, proving that a carbon free school is economically viable. The school board will also develop a curriculum to educate students about this type of emerging energy system.