The upgrades will allow better recovery of the heat generated by the installation and allow it to be reinjected for use, rather than letting it escape into the outside air.
The upgrades are expected to reduce plant emissions by approximately 65% through the use of more efficient equipment.
Com. Ben Geselbracht was the only one to vote against the upgrade, mainly for environmental reasons. He wanted to see more use of electrification instead of continuing to rely on natural gas.
McAskill said they were strategic in electrifying different areas of the city’s infrastructure at the pool level and other facilities.
“What we’ve done is look for opportunities to really wisely apply electrification and increase efficiency without putting all of our funds into one facility,” McAskill told the Board during their meeting. Monday, May 16. “If we were to consider electrifying all mechanical systems, we would double the budget we are currently considering and significantly increase operating costs.”
According to a City report, it would cost $11.2 million to fully electrify the NAC.
The center is also the largest producer of greenhouse gases, from buildings owned and operated by the City of Nanaimo. It accounts for approximately 32% of natural gas consumption and 12% of electricity consumption each year.
McAskill added that the grant process arriving at the same time as the end-of-life equipment presented a solid opportunity for the beloved center.
“We have other facilities in the portfolio and it would be really great to take that extra money and invest it in another facility and ultimately reduce our emissions more significantly than if we just put them in one building.”
Approximately 300,000 people use the Nanaimo Aquatic Center each year, with attendance remaining consistent from year to year.
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