Volume 21 No 1

Table of Contents

RETScreen Expert software for clean energy feasibility studies now available for download

With increasing investment in renewable energy, cogeneration and energy efficiency projects, tools that reduce feasibility study costs will be essential. To answer this need, NRCan has developed an even more powerful RETScreen software tool – RETScreen Expert.

Previous versions of RETScreen already offered powerful analysis tools for determining the feasibility of renewable energy and cogeneration projects. The new software integrates RETScreen 4 and RETScreen Plus into one platform that allows organizations to conduct comprehensive benchmark, pre-feasibility, feasibility, and performance analyses for their facilities.

Dinesh Parakh, Program Advisor, RETScreen International, CanmetENERGY, explains that RETScreen Expert was designed to facilitate the work of professionals, such as facility managers, project developers, energy managers and others involved in designing and/or implementing clean energy projects.

Parakh notes that RETScreen is already being used by many organizations across Canada. Users can assess multiple projects in a single facility or thousands of sites, such as school boards are doing. In Ontario, for example, almost every college and university is using the tool.

RETScreen Expert leverages a global database of input parameters such as benchmark, climate, cost, product and financial data. A user can start an analysis using an innovative new Virtual Energy Analyzer, which employs archetypes to help determine energy production and savings potential quickly, and creates an initial draft of a pre-feasibility study or energy audit. The user can then modify values as necessary to make the analysis more relevant to his/her project.

Companies can access typical energy profiles of similar facilities, determine the improvements that are possible and the costing. “It is all done for you with RETScreen Expert,” says Parakh. “Similar studies would normally cost between $50,000 and $150,000, but with this software, costs are reduced dramatically, thus freeing up capital for more productive purposes.”

Ultimately, RETScreen gives managers the tools to make the best clean energy decisions. The software will make it clear very quickly if a project is financially viable or not in a user-friendly format, and at relatively minimal cost.

Parakh notes that RETScreen Expert has a long-term development and outreach plan to make it even more comprehensive and accessible.

To download RETScreen Expert, visit nrcan.gc.ca/energy/software-tools/7465.

Upcoming Training on RETScreen Expert

Free Introductory RETScreen Expert Seminars
Free, introductory training seminars showing how NRCan's RETScreen Expert software can be used to analyse energy efficiency and renewable energy projects. The workshops will be offered in major Canadian cities. For more details, visit www.rerinfo.ca/RETScreenTraining.html.

Three-Day Certified RETScreen Expert (CRE) Workshops
The Canadian Institute for Energy Training (CIET) is offering a series of three-day training workshops on RETScreen Expert which include a certification exam and continuing education credits. Visit http://cietcanada.com/training-calendar/ for more details. A 50 percent incentive of course fees, to a maximum of $800, is available through Ontario’s Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO). Contact efficiency.training@ieso.ca for more details and an incentive application form.

Canadian manufacturing sector continues to reduce energy intensity according to ICE report

Statistics Canada has released the results of its annual Industrial Consumption of Energy (ICE) Survey in the Statistical Report of Energy Use in the Canadian Manufacturing Sector, 1995– 2014. Notably, the report highlights a continued trend in improved energy intensity in the long- and short-term for this sector. This reduction comes as a result of output of the manufacturing sector surpassing energy use.

The ICE survey gathers energy use data from companies in Canada’s manufacturing sector, including all 21 subsectors, and provides an essential tool to track trends in energy consumption. Seven of the 21 subsectors, namely paper, primary metal, chemical, petroleum and coal product, wood product, food, and non-metallic mineral product, accounted for over 90 percent of all energy consumption in 2014.

While all subsectors showed a reduction in energy intensity from 1995 to 2014, significant decreases were noted for non-metallic mineral product (44.5 percent), primary metal (29.8 percent), and paper (26.0 percent). The drop in energy intensity in the paper manufacturing subsector is attributed to a concomitant drop in its GDP, due to a decline of the subsector since 2005. The non-metallic mineral product and primary metal subsectors, on the other hand, decreased their energy consumption despite their increase in GDP.

The wood product manufacturing subsector, however, experienced a 41.3 percent increase in energy since 2014 and a concurrent 48.1 percent increase in its GDP.

The report also analyzed survey data on the fuel mix, which saw a rise in natural gas use from 27 percent in 2009 to 33 percent in 2014, thereby replacing electricity as the dominant fuel. Less spent pulping liquor was produced and used by the paper manufacturing subsector. Moreover, the refined petroleum product subsector reduced its use of heavy fuel (82.4 percent) and propane (36.9 percent), with a 32.9 percent increase in middle distillates.

The full report can be found here.

Velcro Canada Inc. wins the 2016 People Power Challenge and prepares for the next edition

“Participation in the People Power Challenge reinforces our management views and initiatives about sustainability,” says Tal Rafailov, Quality Systems Manager at Velcro Canada Inc., the company that walked away with the Challenge’s first prize of $6,500. Winners of the 2016 People Power Challenge were announced at its annual networking reception on December 1, 2016. Other prize winners included Bentall Kennedy, Colliers and the Toronto Zoo.

The 2016 People Power Challenge, which engaged 12 companies representing more than 10,000 employees, led to impressive results for participants and the environment. Jennifer Taves, Project Manager, Communications and Engagement with Partners in Project Green (PPG) notes that more than 16,000 pledges for environmental action were made throughout the Challenge and over 2,000 green project suggestions were submitted by employees. During the Challenge, 379 sustainability projects were completed with 143 from employee suggestions. Projects included repurposing waste streams, bike rack installations and energy use reduction.

New for the 2016 Challenge was the opportunity for competitors to collaborate on sustainability projects. For example, Velcro Canada Inc. visited Canadian Tire to learn how they recycle and manage waste at their distribution center, while the City of Mississauga partnered with the Toronto Regional Conservation Authority to deliver an environmental education event for 75 newcomers to Canada.

Taves notes that deeper engagement has been realized year over year since the program launched. In 2016, the program generated 16,637 pledges for environmental behaviours, 2,011 great green ideas and, 379 projects – 74 of which came directly from green ideas submitted by employees. This represents increases of 70 percent, 82 percent, and 51 percent over 2015 results, respectively. In addition, the Nudge Rewards app continues to be a powerful tool for engagement. Competitors see an engagement rate of 74 percent with the app, which is in sharp contrast to the usual 25 percent engagement rate seen through traditional email.

Velcro Canada Inc., a repeat participant has participated in the challenge for the last four years, and won first prize for three out of those years. Raifalov describes the Challenges as “having a snowball effect with employees and, each year it gets better.”

Over the years, Velcro Canada Inc. employees made 7,620 pledges and 105 suggestions resulting in the implementation of 23 projects. They also participated in 80 joint initiatives with other competitors. To raise awareness of the event, the company actively used social media to amplify the story, developed 34 case studies, hosted six employee awareness events, used 254 educational resources and engaged employees through five incentive prizes.

Rafailov says that the People Power Challenge “provides us with the tools to meet the targets of our existing environmental management system.” Velcro Canada Inc. employee suggestions resulted in initiatives such as waste-free lunches, participation in the Brampton Smart Commute and an LED lighting retrofit, with a SaveOnEnergy incentive, that will lead to nearly 446,000 kilowatt-hours (kWh) in annual savings.

Registration for the 2017 People Power Challenge, which will run from April 17 until September 15, is now open and features the same great employee and group prizes, and cash prizes for the organizations that earn the most points throughout the Challenge. Moreover, PPG will be adding a new size category, which will see six companies walk away with cash prizes in 2017.

Taves notes that this year, PPG will measure the impact of the Challenge activities whereby pledges will be associated with metrics. Mini-challenges will be incorporated in the overall challenge allowing competitors to engage in smaller environmental and engagement campaigns.

For more information, please contact Jennifer Taves at jtaves@trca.on.ca or visit the People Power Challenge website: www.partnersinprojectgreen.com/your-needs/engagement/people-power-challenge/.

2016 COSIA Project Portfolio profiles the development of cutting-edge environmental technologies in the oil sands sector

“We are developing and testing cutting-edge technologies, and leading in a true innovation-based economy by building on the global resource advantage we have with our oil sands,” states Dan Wicklum, CEO of Canada’s Oil Sands Innovation Alliance (COSIA). The organization’s recently released report details the innovative technologies that address COSIA’s aim to increase environmental performance in Alberta’s oil sands.

The COSIA portfolio of projects represents four Environmental Priority Areas (EPAs) – GHGs, Land, Water and Tailings. Inside each priority area COSIA makes investment decisions from concept of idea to development, demonstration, deployment and commercialization.

The GHG EPA features many innovative energy efficiency projects in the mining and extraction, and in-situ sectors of the oil sands.

One such project includes the adaptation of existing heat exchanger technology to capture excess heat from the froth treatment process associated with surface mining. The recovered heat recovery would pre-heat the recycled water stream thus reducing natural gas consumption and GHG emissions. Phase II of the project, led by Shell, is now underway and aims to address the function of Alfa Laval Spiral Plate-type heat exchangers with commercial plate spacing (gaps) in an operational environment. They will also test scaled-up versions of the technology.

In another project, Cenovus and other COSIA member companies initiated a 1.4-megawatt (MW) pilot project on molten carbonate fuel cell (MCFC) at an oil sands facility. This builds on a 200-kilowatt (kW) pilot project at the University of Calgary that showed the potential of MCFC to capture CO2 produced from natural gas consumed in operations. The MCFC technology has the potential to capture up to 90 percent of CO2 emissions while generating power.

Nexen, along with other companies, developed an interactive flowsheet model for mass and energy balances for any in-situ processing facility. The web-based application, already available to COSIA members and associate members, can quantify the benefits of different technologies under consideration. The model can calculate key performance indicators (KPIs) such as fuel consumption, GHG emissions and make-up water consumption while allowing users to add or remove components to model operations such as carbon capture, CO2 compression, and different boiler configurations.

A fourth project, led by Devon and Cenovus, is now in Stage III and seeks to capture waste heat from steam-assisted gravity drainage for transformation into higher value heat or electricity. Two promising technologies – AMS Energy Heat Pipe and Heat Matrix LUVO – will be assessed for feasibility; and energy modelling for the AMS matrix will be performed. One of these two technologies may then move on to a feasibility study.

To date, COSIA member companies have shared 936 distinct technologies and innovations that cost over $1.325 billion to develop. For more information on COSIA and its EPAs, visit www.cosia.ca.

BC Hydro announces changes to its Leaders in Energy Management Program

BC Hydro is continuing its Leaders in Energy Management Program with some key changes for 2017 and 2018. The program includes Energy Study Funding, Project Implementation Funding, and Business Energy Saving Incentives. These funding programs are designed to help reduce the barriers to electrical energy efficiency projects.

Projects that already meet program criteria and are in the utility’s operational queue continue to be eligible while those not in the queue can apply as long as the funding/incentive programs are not fully subscribed.

Key Account customers with a BC Hydro-funded Energy Manager can apply for the Energy Study funding up until March 31, 2017, or earlier if funding becomes fully subscribed before that date. Beginning in April 2017, the Energy Study Funding will only be available to customers with a BC Hydro-funded Energy Manager engaged in strategic energy management.

Large business customers with a BC Hydro Key Account Manager already in the queue for Project Implementation Funding and Business Energy Saving Incentives can continue as long as the program eligibility criteria are met.

As of January 2017, Key Account customers without a BC Hydro-funded Energy Manager can access Business Energy Saving Incentives for projects to be completed in 2018.

Starting in fiscal 2018, only applications for Project Implementation Funding from organizations with a BC Hydro Key Account Manager and with a BC Hydro-funded Energy Manager will be accepted for new retrofit projects. Also in 2018, there will be annual customer incentive caps to all new Project Implementation Funding and Business Energy Saving Incentives projects.

Contact your Key Account Manager or call the Business Helpdesk at 604-522-4713 in the Lower Mainland or 866-522-4713 to learn more.

Free INTEGRATION software courses

Get hands-on experience with NRCan’s powerful process integration software, INTEGRATION in upcoming training courses. In this free, half-day course, participants will learn how to apply process integration techniques to complex industrial plants and potentially achieve 10 to 30 percent energy savings.

For more information visit www.rerinfo.ca/IntegrationTraining.html or contact michael.ross@rerinfo.ca.

New CIPEC Leaders

Cement Sector

Lafarge Canada Inc.

  • Mississauga, Ontario
  • Bath, Ontario
  • Brookfield, Nova Scotia
  • Calgary, Alberta
  • Exshaw, Alberta
  • Pointe-Claire, Québec
  • Richmond, British Columbia
  • Saint-Constant, Québec
  • Thunder Bay, Ontario
  • Woodstock, Ontario

Chemicals Sector

INEOS Canada Partnership – Joffre, Alberta

Petroleum Products Sector

McAsphalt Industries Ltd. – Hamilton, Ontario
T.J. Pounder – Brampton, Ontario
Pavex Ltée – Saint-Félicien, Québec

General Manufacturing Sector

CGC inc. – Montréal, Québec
Novatech Canada inc. – Sainte-Julie, Québec

Transportation Equipment Manufacturing Sector

Pratt & Whitney Canada Corp. – Mississauga, Ontario

Calendar of Events

Call for story ideas

Has your company implemented successful energy efficiency measures that you would like to share with Heads Up CIPEC readers? Please send your story ideas for consideration to the editor, Jocelyne Rouleau, by e-mail at jocelyne.rouleau@canada.ca.

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