For the first time in Calgary’s history, a district energy plant has fired up its boilers to produce heat for an extensive array of downtown buildings. The Calgary Downtown District Energy Centre on Ninth Avenue can provide heat for up to 10 million sq. ft. of new and existing residential and commercial buildings, eliminating the need for traditional boiler systems in individual buildings.
“We are bursting with pride over this new addition to the ENMAX generation portfolio,” said Gary Holden, President and CEO of ENMAX Corporation. “These types of facilities have been used in Europe for a long time and are now catching on in North America. They make good economic and environmental sense by consolidating the heating needs for several buildings all at once. It is definitely a modern approach to the needs of a growing city.”
The City of Calgary municipal building was the first structure to receive heat from the natural-gas fired facility. Through a network of insulated underground pipes, heat is transferred to City Hall – and ultimately future East Village buildings – eradicating the need for traditional heating systems. Consequently, The City prevented a costly replacement of its seven aging boilers.
Artist rendering of completed Calgary Downtown District Energy Facility with eventual Fourth Street underpass to Stampede Park.
The closed loop pipe system of the district energy facility delivers hot water, typically around 120 degrees Celsius, to the customer’s building and is connected to an energy transfer station in the customer's building which occupies significantly less space than a traditional heating system. The return water temperature is around 75 degrees Celsius.
The $31.8 million project is funded through the Canada-Alberta Municipal Rural Infrastructure Fund (CAMRIF). CAMRIF is a program contributed to by the federal, provincial and municipal governments. Over the program’s life, CAMRIF has directed more than $321 million in federal, provincial and municipal funding to enhance municipal infrastructure and improve Albertans' quality of life through investments that protect the environment and support long-term economic growth. For further information on CAMRIF, visit
ENMAX Corporation, through subsidiaries and predecessors, has provided Albertans with safe and reliable electricity for more than 100 years. ENMAX Corporation provides electricity, natural gas and value-added services to more than 640,000 residential, commercial and industrial metered customer locations in Alberta. ENMAX Energy Corporation, a subsidiary of ENMAX Corporation, is Alberta’s leading competitive electricity retailer. Through subsidiaries, ENMAX Energy is one of Alberta’s largest investors in renewable energy and was the first Canadian electricity retailer to offer customers the option to support wind generated energy. As well, ENMAX Corporation, through its subsidiary ENMAX Envision Inc., provides fibre optic networks for high speed data and internet communications.
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Customers are free to purchase natural gas services or electricity services from a retailer of their choice. For a list of retailers, visit ucahelps.alberta.ca or call 310-4822 (toll free in Alberta).