Canadian Consulting Engineer

Toronto hospital to be retrofitted with world’s largest raw wastewater energy transfer project

October 21, 2021  By CCE

Toronto Western Hospital retrofit

Left to right: Vince Gasparro, managing director of corporate development and clean energy finance for VCIB; Dennis Fotinos, CEO of Noventa; Ed Rubinstein, director of environmental compliance, energy and sustainability for UHN; Ron Swail, vice-president (VP) of facilities operations and maintenance for UHN; Abbas Chagani, manager of business development for Enbridge; Cynthia Hansen, executive VP (EVP) of utilities and power operations for Enbridge; Stephen Condie, chief technology officer (CTO) and head of operations for Noventa; and Ehren Cory, CEO of CIB. Photo courtesy CIB.

The Canada Infrastructure Bank (CIB) has reached financial close on what is reportedly the world’s largest raw wastewater energy transfer project, located at Toronto Western Hospital (TWH), part of the University Health Network (UHN).

Renewable energy company Noventa Energy Partners has worked with UHN, with the support of Enbridge Gas, to develop the $42.9 million project, which will use Huber‘s ThermWin technology to transfer thermal energy to and from wastewater flowing in a mid-Toronto sewer to provide approximately 90% of the 272-bed hospital’s heating and cooling requirements.

“This project will demonstrate the viability of wastewater energy transfer as a low-carbon means of heating and cooling buildings,” says Noventa CEO Dennis Fotinos.

The retrofit will significantly reduce the hospital’s consumption of both natural gas and water. Over the next 30 years, the hospital anticipates a cumulative reduction in GHG emissions of more than 250,000 tonnes.

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CIB is investing up to $19.3 million in subordinated debt in the retrofit and Vancity Community Investment Bank (VCIB) will provide $15.3 million in senior debt. Noventa and Enbridge are equity partners in the project, while UHN will provide a capital contribution and the federal government is providing a grant through Environment and Climate Change Canada’s Low Carbon Economy Fund.

Construction began this month on the project, the first under CIB’s public buildings retrofits initiative, which seeks to achieve energy savings for public-sector infrastructure.

“We look forward to working with more public-sector asset owners and the private sector to invest in new energy retrofit projects,” says Ehren Cory, CEO of CIB.


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