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EPCOR Scores an Assist on the ICE District

Score EPCOR with a big assist on this one.

The new LEED Silver-standard Rogers Place will be the stunning centerpiece of an invigorated downtown. Everyone involved – from the City of Edmonton and the Oilers Entertainment Group to builders PCL Constructors and contractors such as EPCOR ­- are being careful to plan the finest details to achieve an exciting atmosphere in the new Ice District. 

On the planning table, the underground electrical vaults that provide vital power connections to the facility needed change. First, the street-level metals covers were a slipping hazard near public entrances, so the vaults had to be moved. Then, the vaults just didn't match the intended look or feel of the Ice District, because each vault came with a green, upright box off to one side, which houses electrical controls. Those just didn't fit in an entertainment area, designed for the future and thousands of visitors at a time.

So while safer locations were being chosen, the arena ownership group gave EPCOR planners a direct challenge: get rid of those green boxes.

The EPCOR team dug deep, coming up with a remote system for operation, which eliminated the green box. Now, the vaults have a small, covered opening, where the operator can plug in a handheld device.

The remote system has proven so successful that EPCOR is now installing more of them at other downtown locations.

Downtown Edmonton is a green leader

Edmonton's downtown will soon be a LEED-er in environmental building.

LEED is an acronym for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, which is a program where high environmental building standards are verified by a third-party.

EPCOR Tower – right across 101 St. from the new arena – is LEED Gold standard, with green features such as recycling of rainwater.

To reduce its power consumption and carbon footprint, the new Rogers Place will include a highly insulated envelope, heat recovery ventilation and an energy modeling system to optimize efficiency. Low-emitting sealants, paints, coatings and flooring will also be used. Water use will be reduced through low-flow plumbing fixtures and toilets.

In addition, arena builders will divert 93% of construction waste by recycling or re-purposing.

The new Royal Alberta Museum and City of Edmonton office Tower are also on track to achieve high LEED status.

Now, that's a big power bill

What's the cost to update Canada's entire electricity network for the future, so the lights stay on?

$1 billion? Not worth a jolt.

$10 billion? Still short.

According to the Conference Board of Canada, the nation needs $350-billion worth of electricity expansion and upgrading by 2030. That's for generating stations, wire lines, substations, transformers, poles – everything that creates and delivers energy to you.

Why so much?

  • The amount of electricity Canadians consume is expected to double by 2050 – powering everything from home and business to smart phones, computer systems and even electric cars 
  • The existing infrastructure was built out in the 1960s or 1970s, even earlier in some places, and is approaching the end of its serviceable lifespan

EPCOR alone, in Edmonton, spends $120 million to $140 million a year on replacing aging power equipment or adding new circuits to meet demand in one of the fastest growing cities in North America. Here's a stat to drive the point home.

In a recent speech to the Alberta Power Summit, Sergio Marchi, CEO of the Canadian Electricity Association (CEA), said there could be 500,000 electric cars running in Canada within the next few years.