WHITEHORSE—The Government of Yukon is moving ahead with plans to heat the new F.H. Collins Secondary School with a geoexchange heating system. A Memorandum of Understanding between the Yukon government and the City of Whitehorse has finalized a partnership to move forward with this plan.
“This heating system will decrease the school’s carbon footprint and significantly reduce annual energy costs,” Education Minister Scott Kent said. “Our government is pleased to move ahead with this progressive approach to construction and operations of the new secondary school.”
The Energy Strategy for Yukon commits the government to incorporating renewable energy into Yukon government buildings and a key goal of the Climate Change Action Plan is to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.
“Reducing GHG emissions through the use of geoexchange energy is one of a wide range of actions the Yukon government is undertaking to ensure our economy, quality of life and environment continue to thrive, despite our changing climate,” Environment Minister Currie Dixon said. “This is a local action that will contribute to the broader national and global effort to respond to climate change.”
“The new school has been designed to minimize both energy use and greenhouse gas emissions,” Highways and Public Works Minister Wade Istchenko said. “This new heating system will contribute to the new school using about 80 per cent less energy than the current school’s diesel-fuelled boiler system.”
Once final details, including permits and licenses, are in place, the plan is for water from the existing Selkirk aquifer to be pumped through a heat exchanger, where the absorbed heat will be distributed through the new building’s heating system. A new well will be drilled to facilitate the geoexchange heating system that will also help to meet the growing demand for potable water in the City of Whitehorse.
“The City of Whitehorse is pleased to be able to take part in such an important project,” Mayor Dan Curtis said. “By researching and testing alternative energy projects, Whitehorse can move closer to its sustainability goals.”
The F.H. Collins replacement project is on schedule to be completed in time for the 2015/16 school year.