Commercial real estate needs to decarbonize effectively but at minimum cost. District energy is a powerful tool for achieving this crucial goal. Conventional large central power plants transmit energy over long distances but lose substantial energy along the way due to electrical resistance and can be unsustainable. But locally generated district energy travels a shorter distance, meets less resistance, wastes less energy, generates less pollution, and is therefore more efficient than energy generated in large central plants. Thus, district energy is “conservation by localization”: simply by generating energy locally instead of centrally, there is a large gain in both cost-efficiency and environmental sustainability.
Toronto’s Deep Lake Water Cooling (DLWC) system is usually considered the largest district energy system in North America. The DLWC system harnesses cold water at the bottom of Lake Ontario, and cools much of downtown Toronto at about one-tenth the cost of conventional air conditioning—a substantial competitive advantage for Toronto real estate. Speakers will describe Toronto’s DLWC system in depth, and will describe how it may be adapted elsewhere, how developers and investors can choose the district energy system that is right for them, and how Toronto real estate energy users benefit from the DLWC system.