The City of Charlottetown plans to transition its Pollution Control Plant to a Resource Recovery Facility that would have long-term financial, environmental and social benefits for the Greater Charlottetown Area.
The vision of the project is to reduce the operating costs of the facility, create a sustainable demonstration project for the City, and provide educational opportunities to the academic community of PEI. Project components that are currently being considered include renewable energy production, biosolid drying and end-use research and greenhouse production. In addition, the City will be looking to partner with facilities in proximity of the Plant to identify opportunities for meeting shared outcomes. The facility would be the first of its kind on PEI.
"We have an opportunity in the City of Charlottetown to take a big-picture approach to improvements at the Pollution Control Plant," said Charlottetown Mayor Clifford Lee. "What was once thought of as a waste facility is going to be a sustainable, resource recovery facility. Our vision for this project will not only address anticipated increases in wastewater flow, but it will also identify ways to sustainably manage operating costs as well as provide additional environmental and social benefits well into the future. We have an opportunity to positively impact our community and our environment for generations to come."
As components of the project are implemented, Smart Infrastructure principles will be applied, such as installing sensors throughout the facility to centralize facility management via automated controls.
The proposed components being explored for the Charlottetown Resource Recovery Facility include:
Renewable Energy Production and Thermal Energy Recovery
• Solar Photovoltaic panels to convert sunlight into energy to help offset the energy use demand of the Plant.
• Wind turbines to harvest wind energy to offset the facility’s energy usage.
• Tidal power generation using the flow of water to produce energy that can then be utilized by the Plant, partner facilities located close to the Plant and/or to support new facilities on-site.
• Biogas Fired Co-Generation Systems to capture gas produced from the existing digesters and use it as a heat source.
• An Effluent Water Heat Recovery System which would involve using the heat from waste water that is treated at the plant by running it through a water to water heat pump.
• Biomass - Exploring opportunities to use brownfields to produce biomass materials that can be used in energy production.
• Additional Biosolid drying would further reduce moisture content in the exceptional Class A biosolid produced by the Plant as defined by US Environmental Protection Act (EPA) Standards. This would allow the product, which contains valuable nutrients and soil conditioning properties to be more widely used in City landscaping operations and could be made available to the public for lawns and gardens.
• A Production Greenhouse could produce trees, annuals and other plant materials to help offset the City’s horticultural display costs. The greenhouse could use a combination of hydroponics (growing plants without soil using mineral nutrient solutions from treated waste water) and treated biosolids.
• An Indoor Botanical Garden or Atrium could be used to collect, cultivate and display of a wide range of plants for education opportunities, to help conserve plant diversity and to assist in saving native or rare plant species. It could be open to the public for social, physical and mental health benefits.
Climate Adaptation and Coastal Protection
• This would involve further study on the impacts of storm surges, sea level rise and erosion. It would be a joint effort with other partners to create flood mapping and modeling and identify appropriate measures that can be put in place to mitigate risks to the property.
The City of Charlottetown was selected as one of three Canadian municipalities to participate in the Canadian Impact Infrastructure Exchange (CIIX) pilot, by the Carleton Centre of Community Innovation in Ottawa. As part of this pilot, the CIIX will supply consulting support to develop a long-term feasibility study for Charlottetown’s infrastructure project. Their analysis will help identify the costs and benefits using a triple bottom line approach to quantify all benefits – financial, societal and environmental. The CIIX will also help create access to funding streams from a variety of potential funding partners that are looking for opportunities to invest in infrastructure projects that meet the criteria of a triple bottom line approach.
"The Pollution Control Plant is the City’s largest energy using facility with annual energy consumption of 12,500 Gigajoules, which equates to more than 1,000 tonnes of annual greenhouse gas emissions and an annual electrical energy cost of nearly $500,000," said Councillor Edward Rice, Chair of the City’s Water and Sewer Utility Committee. "We already need upgrades at the facility to manage increased wastewater flows from East Royalty, other future development in Charlottetown and the potential partnership to handle the Town of Stratford’s wastewater. If we are strategic in our upgrades, we can accomplish so much more; reducing our impact on the environment, reducing operating costs and offering a world-class Resource Recovery Facility with essentially endless possibilities."
The City is in discussions with the UPEI School of Sustainable Design Engineering and Holland College about the potential for a partnership since the project aligns with educational outcomes. Other community partnerships and funding opportunities are also being explored.
"As provincial governments across Canada prepare to roll out carbon tax programs, it is anticipated that new infrastructure projects will need to have a long-term approach to sustainability and demonstrate financial, environmental and social benefits to the community," said Deputy Mayor Mike Duffy, Chair of the City’s Environment and Sustainability Committee. "We believe our project is one that not only exceeds that criteria but can also help position Prince Edward Island as Canada’s Green Province."
Research on each of the components of the proposed project is being conducted by City staff and the feasibility report is may be available as early as the end of 2017. In the meantime, the public is encouraged to provide feedback for the Charlottetown Resource Recovery Facility.
Feedback can be emailed to ResourceRecoveryFacility@charlottetown.ca
Written submissions must be sent to the attention of:
The Sustainability Office - City of Charlottetown
P.O. Box 98, 199 Queen Street,
Charlottetown, PE C1A 7K2
Feedback can also be drop off at the main floor reception desk at City Hall, 199 Queen Street, with the envelope clearly marked to the attention of the Sustainability Office.
Comments can also be sent on Facebook: www.facebook.com/CityofCharlottetown or by tweeting ideas to @ChtownPE using hashtag #SustainableFacility
Please find attached a backgrounder on each of the proposed components as well as a drawing of the Charlottetown Resource Recovery Facility.
Photo cutline: (From Left: Deputy Mayor Mike Duffy, Chair of the Environment and Sustainability Committee; Charlottetown Mayor Clifford Lee; and Councillor Edward Rice, Chair of the Water and Sewer Utility Committee pose with a diagram of the proposed changes at the Plant.
City of Charlottetown