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ISO 50001 - Confederation Heights' Central Heating and Cooling Plant

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April 7, 2022

The second in a series about the ISO 50001 Standard and the collaboration between Public Service and Procurement Canada (PSPC) and Innovate Energy (IE).

Carlo Burri had retired from Public Service and Procurement Canada when he was asked to helm the operations at the Confederation Heights Plant located on Heron Road by Black & Mcdonald. Burri had previously been Plant Chief at the National Research Council Plant on Sussex Drive and was familiar with the developing energy policy surrounding efficiency.

Working in the plant proves challenging, especially in hot weather and gauging the capacity of the peak loads. Plant operators are tasked with deciding which equipment to use and when, while maintenance is necessary to keep the boilers and chillers running efficiently.

At the Confederation Heights Plant there is a Plant Chief, Plant Manager, Administrator, Operator and Maintenance Mechanic working at all times. Confederation Heights looks after 9 buildings, a relatively small number compared to the other plants on the district energy system. Burri noted to me that COVID-19 has decreased the load demand significantly as not as many employees are in the buildings.

According to Burri, ISO 50001 Standard hasn’t been difficult to maintain. He attributes this to the equipment (50 year old boilers and 20 year old chillers) and the use of variable speed drive which runs slower and more efficiently. At the plant the boilers and chillers are manually started, with a warm stand by boiler on at all times. The chillers are turned off in October, and tested to prepare for the heat and humidity of Ottawa’s summer months.

Although Confederation Heights is run by Black&McDonald, it is all part of the facilities management provided by Innovate Energy. Clear and accurate communication among staff and management is paramount to maintain the ISO 50001 certification and emphasizes the importance of collaboration through a P3 contract.