$6.2 million funding expedites Oval Village energy project

By Richmond Sentinel

Published 11:37 PDT, Tue September 1, 2020

Last Updated: 2:13 PDT, Wed May 12, 2021

The City of Richmond, on behalf of Lulu Island Energy Company, has received $6.2 million from the provincial and federal governments to help speed up implementation of another phase of the Oval Village District Energy Utility (OVDEU), reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the city.

The grant, provided through the Canada Infrastructure Program–CleanBC Communities Fund, will expedite the implementation timeline for design and construction of a permanent, sewer heat recovery energy centre to provide renewable energy to customers of the OVDEU.

“This project will help move the city closer to its objectives of providing low carbon energy for residents while further reducing greenhouse gas emissions from developments in Richmond’s City Centre area,” said Mayor Malcom Brodie. “This funding, through the CleanBC Communities Fund, recognizes the innovation and commitment we have made to improving our environment and making Richmond a sustainable and environmentally conscious city.”

The permanent energy centre will use a sewer heat recovery energy system to service the Oval Village area around River Parkway and Gilbert Road. The $6.2 million, which comprises $2.6 million from the province and $3.6 million from the Federal Government, will allow the current temporary energy centres on River Parkway to be decommissioned and removed. It will also enable the project, currently planned for 2025, to begin construction in 2022 for a 2024 in-service date.

“The people of Richmond are demonstrating leadership on climate change with new clean energy infrastructure that will reduce pollution and provide heat and hot water for people and businesses in the Oval Village neighbourhood,” said BC Environment Minister George Heyman. “Through our CleanBC climate and economic plan, we’re working together with communities like Richmond and the federal government to build back a stronger, better B.C. for everyone following the impacts of COVID-19.”

The OVDEU sewer heat recovery system will replace natural gas boilers as the main source of heating energy and hot water for residents and businesses in the Oval Village area. When complete, around 80 per cent of the area’s energy demand will be met by this system, resulting in an estimated reduction of more than 265,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions over the first 30 years of the project’s life span – roughly equal to taking 95,000 cars off the road for a year.

The investment in this energy system will increase resilient, low carbon, green energy production in the City of Richmond, while providing customers with a locally produced and reliable energy source.

The OVDEU is a part of the Lulu Island Energy Company, a multi-award-winning municipal corporation wholly-owned by the City of Richmond that implements and operates innovative district energy systems in Richmond.

District energy systems centralize space heating, cooling, and domestic hot water heating production on a neighbourhood scale. It is a more flexible and energy-efficient way of providing these services to residential, commercial, hotel and retail customers. The OVDEU is one of several Lulu Island Energy district energy systems in place, the others providing service in the West Cambie/Alexandra and City Centre areas.

Information on the OVDEU can be found on the Lulu Island Energy website at

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