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District Energy

District Energy
District Energy
Expertise / Sectors / Power / District Energy

District energy systems use a centralized heating and/or cooling plant to distribute steam, hot water and chilled water to provide heating and cooling to multiple buildings in an area. While district energy contributes to sustaining community development, it is also well recognized for creating greater energy efficiency, reduced emissions, highly efficient operations and lower energy costs to the consumer. District energy is being used throughout Canada to achieve greenhouse-gas reduction goals, attract new development, and leverage under-utilized resources.

Blakes lawyers have successfully advised on many of the most complex and innovative district energy projects in Canada, including in the cities of Calgary and Montréal and throughout the province of Ontario. As the district energy sector evolves, the Firm’s significant knowledge and expertise has enabled us to provide strategic insight and superior legal guidance to our clients anywhere it is needed. Owners, operators and financiers of district energy facilities across North America rely on our Power group.
Our Power lawyers regularly advocate for public and private power-industry suppliers and customers on government policy and regulatory matters. We advise on matters such as development of district energy facilities and systems, cogeneration operations, procurement, construction, intellectual property protection, regulatory and environmental compliance, financing, and a host of other considerations impacting district energy producers and customers. Our expertise extends beyond traditional legal advice to provide clients with the business understanding necessary to effectively negotiate rates and energy-specific purchase and sale agreements, deal with combined heat and power (CHP) and cooling and waste heat (CWH) recovery sources, and understand operating considerations.

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Recent Experience
  • A large commercial entity on the negotiation of a long-term district energy contract. 

  • Capstone Infrastructure Corporation in respect of the C$83-million credit facilities provided to Cardinal Power of Canada, L.P. to refinance its 156 MW natural-gas cogeneration facility.

  • ENMAX Corporation on matters pertaining to the development of its district energy facility/system in Calgary, Alberta.

  • An international developer in connection with its investment in a district energy company in Montréal, including advising in connection with due diligence, long-term energy supply agreements, the fuel agreement, real estate issues and corporate matters.

  • The Ontario Power Authority on the development of a province-wide 1,000 MW request for proposal (RFP) for district energy and cogeneration projects (CHP I), one of the largest solicitations of its kind in North America, and on the development of a further RFP on similar terms (CHP II).

  • Waterfront Toronto in connection with the proposed development of a district energy system as part of the renewal of the city of Toronto’s waterfront.

  • Windsor Casino Limited and Ontario Lottery & Gaming Corporation in respect of the development of a district energy centre at Caesars Windsor, their district energy arrangements for Caesars Windsor (supplied by the Windsor Utilities Commission) and the development of an on-site cogeneration facility.

  • Sudbury Regional Hospital with respect to a cogeneration/district energy plant at the hospital, operated by Sudbury District Energy.

  • Various district energy customers in connection with negotiating supply agreements with local district energy suppliers.

  • Public Works and Government Services Canada in respect of certain energy supply arrangements in Ottawa, Ontario.