Tbnewswatch Local News
Friday July 3 2015
8:20 AM EDT
2014-06-25 at 14:52

Health powerplay

tbnewswatch.com file photograph
By Jodi Lundmark, tbnewswatch.com

THUNDER BAY -- The regional hospital is looking to produce some of its own power.

The Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre's board approved an engineering study for a cogeneration plant so the hospital can produce a portion of its electricity and heat, which will reduce its reliance on the grid.

"It will also allow us to produce some of our own hot water, which will be used in our building systems. Thus further reducing our dependence on natural gas and power," said Anne-Marie Heron, executive director of capital planning and operations.

"As a result, it will also reduce our greenhouse emissions and it will provide additional patient risk mitigation because we'll be more self-sustaining for power should there be an extended power outage," she added.

The engineering study will determine the location of the plant, but Heron said it will be an add-on and approximately 600 square-feet.

A rough estimate of the project's cost is $6 million for a 1.5 to two megawatt unit.

Heron said if approved, the Ontario Power Authority will fund up to 40 per cent of the project and the hospital would see a six to 10 year payback through energy savings.

The engineering study is expected to be completed by the fall and then the project will go to tender, with a projected spring installation.

Heron said the cogeneration plant fits in with the the hospital's existing energy retrofit plan.

Last year the Health Sciences Centre invested about $3 million into updating heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems to be more energy efficient.

"We're committed to ongoing reduction and efficiencies," said Heron.

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itshell says:
Hey "Tbaythoughts says" here is a thought and it goes to people who build their homes next to airports...maybe you shouldn't have built there...
6/26/2014 6:57:03 AM
dynamiter says:
Absolute idiocy! WHERE IS THE PAY BACK! Put even more money into conservation and fixing the noisy inefficient heat exchangers, But don't expect me to subsidize some hair brained idea of selling power into the grid at excessive rates, we have that going on in Atikokan . Burning your waste like they used to in a clean manner, that would intelligent. PS BURNING NATURAL GAS IS CO GENERATION AS SOME ARE WANT TO SAY

6/25/2014 9:42:52 PM
fastball says:
Seriously? It could rain loonies from heaven and we'd all run our cars on air and happy thoughts - and somehow I believe you'd find a way to piddle on it.
The story never mentioned anything about selling any excess power back to the grid. Frankly, them generating some of their own power needs and reducing the overall drain on the grid can't be all that terrible.
Go back to stomping on kittens.
6/26/2014 11:42:33 AM
eventscentre says:
Will the whiners of Thunder Bay allow this to go through without a protest and years of litigation?
6/25/2014 8:53:45 PM
WhinyMcWhiner says:
6/26/2014 12:16:22 PM
Tbaythoughts says:
This is nice, but i wonder how this will be. As a near by resident i sure do not want any more noise or natural gas generation next door.
6/25/2014 7:42:49 PM
verotik says:
the place opened ten years ago and they already spending 3 million to upgrade heating systems?
6/25/2014 6:36:19 PM
j_northey says:
Surprised at the negative comments here. I think having power generation at a hospital to ensure that no matter what they will have power is a fantastic idea, and having it be cheaper power than they'd get otherwise thus making it pay for itself within 6 to 10 years is even better. As icing on the cake it would reduce greenhouse gases thus environmentally friendly. I mean, sheesh, how much more of a win-win can you ask for? Every hospital should look at doing this, as should any large building where co-generation is possible.
6/25/2014 6:28:13 PM
Recommended 1 times.  1  Agree
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dynamiter says:
The problem is that this is a partial retrofit of an existing system. The only way that it makes sense in this study is because we as taxpayers and hydro users are paying 40% of the upfront costs which is why our hydro rates are so high. New hospitals should all be built with these modern systems ( combined heat and power systems) but these retrofits seem to be a bad use of our tax dollars.
6/26/2014 10:58:45 AM
ring of fire dude says:
I would suggest adding another wing to ease the gridlock instead of a co-gen plant . Perhaps a little shock treatment for the Hospital board is in order .
6/25/2014 6:20:47 PM
arjay says:
as capital planners, maybe they should look at adequate Beds for the number of patients they are "gridlocked with". only in Blunder Bay
6/25/2014 4:53:32 PM
enos012 says:
What I really want to know is....the hospital is Ontario governent owned. The Hydro is Ontario works...so does the government hydro actually charge the hospital hydro and all other ontario hydro buildings? The government is actually just charging itself for it's own power for it's other instituations. Where does that money come from?
6/25/2014 4:53:15 PM
tsb says:
That's exactly how it works. The hospital receives a hydro bill, just like any other facility.

When one government department charges another government department, the money is calculated a bit differently. It didn't actually leave, it just got shuffled. A large part of the budget is actually this money that gets shuffled between departments, which is why when you add up all the expenditures of government departments, it tends to be a lot more than their revenue. They basically get to spend the same dollars twice, or more. It's a bit complicated if you've never dealt with it but it makes sense when you look at it on paper and follow where everything is going.
6/25/2014 5:23:04 PM
enos012 says:
I get the priciple but it just doesn't make sense. It would be like a grocery store owner charging himself for his own food and if he spent too much on his own food trying to figure out why he cant get ahead. So because he can't, he keeps raises the costs on everyone else. In reply to 'notorious' no I am not trolling it just dosen't to make logical or even practical sense. The government is probably the biggest organization on ALL levels that still use stamps. Alot of people have gone electronically to save the cost from paper billing. Yet the government decided to raise the cost, thus it's charging itself more. Sorry kind of fogging this morning to broaden the explaination but just 'think' about it for a bit.....
6/26/2014 7:52:29 AM
notorious says:
You are actually asking this question or are you just trolling
6/25/2014 7:52:49 PM
tiredofit says:
To answer you question, yes, they do charge themselves. It's a great scam, one many business utilize all the time. It's not just limited to the Provincial and Federal Government.
6/26/2014 7:53:17 AM
YellowSnow13 says:
They wouldn't have to do this if the Liberal government that was elected yet again would control the cost of power. Maybe I should create my own power station and sell it to my neighbours. Bet I'm not allowed!
6/25/2014 3:36:59 PM
smartguy83 says:
Ummmm I think you are missing the point. It has more to do with the cost of electricity. They are being environmentally friendly, like other large operations should.
6/26/2014 9:31:50 AM
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