05 Mar How REALice is Saving Electricity, Natural Gas and CO2 Emissions at the Town of Caledon
March 5, 2020 – REALice Canada was a featured vendor at the Mayor’s Megawatt Challenge Forum in 2018, which was attended by municipal energy management and facility staff in Ontario. Cam Coulter, the Town of Caledon’s Operations Coordinator at the Mayfield Recreation Complex, attended the Forum as he received an award at the Forum for reducing the energy consumption at the Complex. Coulter connected with REALice at the Forum, interested in their cold-water flooding system after learning that the REALice system provides high quality ice and energy savings.
After speaking with other municipalities that have installed the REALice system, Coulter worked with REALice Canada to determine the savings specific to the Mayfield Recreation Complex. It was discovered that installing REALice would result in an estimated 3.6 year simple payback including installation and the monitoring & verification study, meaning that the cost savings from installing the device would pay itself back in that time.
The funds needed to invest in this equipment would come from the Town’s Corporate Energy Revolving (CER) Fund, which is an independent funding mechanism to support the implementation of energy efficiency retrofits in Town facilities. The CER Fund is sustained through the revenue from the Town’s three ground-mount solar microFIT contracts, energy incentives received and a percentage of energy savings from the projects.
Town Council approved the CER Funds to purchase and install the REALice system and Coulter received the R10x wall unit and handheld device to build the ice in time for the start of the fall 2019 ice season.
Residents that regularly skate at Mayfield Recreation Complex had positive reviews to share.
“We’re getting great reviews, reviews we’ve never had before,” explains Coulter. “I’ve skated on the ice and I love it. It’s great. We’re finding the ice to be harder than it’s ever been before we had the REALice system.”
Other Benefits Too
Coulter says there are other benefits too.
“Our maintenance costs are down – we don’t need to shave the corners down as much as we used to, so we’re saving on employee labour,” says Coulter. “And the hours on our compressors are down – they used to run constantly but not anymore. Now they’re off, even in the middle of the day.”
Currently, a seasonal controller regulates the temperature of the ice. When unoccupied, the rink is at 26.5°F. When occupied it is at 23.5°F. This is about 4°F warmer than what the rink used to operate at, which contributes to electricity savings.
Proving the Savings: the Monitoring and Verification Study
Internat Energy Solutions Canada verified the expected energy savings from the Town’s Mayfield Recreation Complex REALice installation. Through the monitoring and verification study (M&V), it was found that the REALice device saves 84,188 kWh of electricity and 2,800 m3 of natural gas annually at the facility. This results in approximately $10,775 annual utility cost savings and avoided greenhouse gas emissions of 6,972 kg of carbon dioxide. The REALice device has eliminated the need to use natural gas to treat the flood water. Instead, incoming cold water treated by the REALice system is used to flood the ice.
“I think the success of the REALice device comes down to the facility operations team at the Mayfield Recreation Complex,” says Cristina Guido, Acting Manager, Energy & Environment for the Town of Caledon. “They are applying all of the recommended operations best practices for using the REALice system and are using the technology as it is intended.”
Savings and Greenhouse Reduction Goals
Guido also commented on the energy and greenhouse gas savings associated with the project.
“In the summer of 2019, Council endorsed the Town’s Corporate Greenhouse Gas Reduction Framework which is a five-year plan to reduce corporate emissions by 24% by 2024, and to save energy in Town facilities by 15% below 2017 levels by 2024. This project is a great demonstration of saving energy and reducing emissions, which keeps us on track to meeting our targets.”
Incentives were received from Enbridge Gas and saveONenergy as a result of REALice’s electricity and natural gas savings at the Complex, which were redirected into the Town’s Corporate Energy Revolving Fund to sustain it for future projects, such as deploying the REALice system to additional Town-owned facilities.
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