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Great Lakes Article:

Lake Ontario water cools Toronto offices
CBC News Online
Published August 18th, 2004

TORONTO - A new environmentally-friendly air conditioning system that uses frigid water drawn from the depths of Lake Ontario to cool downtown Toronto office buildings was officially launched Tuesday.

The system, in the making for seven years, was developed by Enwave District Energy Limited, which is jointly owned by the City of Toronto and the Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System.

It draws water from 83 metres below the surface of Lake Ontario through a pipeline jutting five kilometres out from the city shoreline to a downtown pumping station.

The 4 C water chills the coolant which is used to air condition 20 downtown buildings, including the Air Canada Centre, the Metro Toronto Convention Centre, Royal Bank Plaza and Steam Whistle Brewing.

When running at full capacity, the company says the system will cool nearly 100 buildings or seven million square metres of office space and reduce electricity use by 75 per cent, eliminating 40,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide from the air.

Federal cabinet minister Joe Volpe attended the launch to announce a $10 million investment in Enwave by the Green Municipal Investment Fund, which is administered by the Federation of Canadian Municipalities.

"The launch of Enwave's Deep Lake Cooling System is a 'first' not only for Canada, but also for North America," the federation's second vice-president Gloria Kovach said.

Hollywood star and environmental activist Alec Baldwin was also on hand to heap praise on Canada's "forward thinking" approach to energy.

"This is an important signal you are sending not only to your fellow countrymen but to the world," Baldwin said. "There's no project on a municipal level this size that's been attempted or has been executed before like this."

Enwave chief executive Dennis Fotinos said the company plans to stretch the system eastward along the Toronto waterfront and boost its capacity by an additional 30 per cent.

The Ontario government is also discussing extension of the system to the Ontario legislature and surrounding office buildings.

Written by CBC News Online staff

 

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