Federal government to spend $2.95B on clean energy fitups in Ottawa-Gatineau

The federal government has awarded a massive contract to a consortium of designers and developers to install and maintain clean energy systems across the National Capital Region.

On Tuesday the feds announced a $2.95-billion public-private partnership with the Innovate Energy consortium to install new eco-friendly systems in the five government-owned-and-operated heating and cooling plants across Ottawa and Gatineau. Of those funds, $1.1 billion will go towards the installation of the systems by 2025, and the remaining $1.5 billion will be spent on maintenance until 2055. With taxes included, the total value of the contract hits $2.95 billion.

The Innovate Energy team is comprised of PCL Constructors Canada, PCL Investments Canada, Black & McDonald and Engie Services as well as designers BBB Architects Ottawa and WSP Canada.

Energy modernization in the National Capital Region was first pegged as a priority in the 2016 federal budget, which set aside $2.1 billion for such projects.

Public Services and Procurement Canada first released a request for qualified bidders back in 2017. Aside from Innovate Energy, the only other qualified bidder to respond to the request for proposals earlier this year was a group called Rideau Energy Partners.

A release states that the transition from steam to a fully electric system for cooling and a lower-temperature hot water system for heating could reduce current levels of carbon pollution by 63 per cent, in addition to cost savings and safety improvements. The federal government's plants provide heating to 80 buildings and cooling to 67, including Parliament Hill.

Environment Minister Catherine McKenna said in a statement the project will allow “the city, the community and the local businesses to tap into cleaner power.”