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Durham College geothermal field receives provincial funding


March 19, 2018
By Ground Water Canada

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Oshawa, Ont. – Durham College has received $14.7 million in funding from the Ontario government through the Greenhouse Gas Campus Retrofits Program, including $9.1 million to fund its Simcoe Geothermal Field project at the Oshawa campus.

Durham College is using $1.45 million to complete upgrades of existing facilities, including the installation of high-efficiency HVAC systems, new and upgraded building automation systems and LED lighting and $4.1 million will take the form of an eligible interest-free loan, uses for which are still to be explored, the college said in a news release.

Launched by MAESD as part of Ontario’s five-year Climate Change Action Plan 2016-2020, the Greenhouse Gas Campus Retrofits Program is designed to support projects that demonstrate innovative plans and approaches to increase campus sustainability and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, while also supporting other institutional and Strategic Mandate Agreement priorities.

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The Simcoe Geothermal Field project is part of a multi-year initiative at DC’s Oshawa campus to create a net-zero carbon footprint in existing campus buildings by using reclaimed land to install a geothermal field, new central plant and piping network.

In addition to the environmental benefits that the geothermal energy system will yield, the project will also provide significant new experiential learning opportunities for students. The geothermal field and new heat pump plant will become a living lab that will be incorporated into a wide variety of program curricula to address new green-energy technologies and careers, the college said.