Smart Thermal Microgrid

Energy is the essential catalyst for life, mobility and economic development. Urbanization, population density and increased resource consumption pose a significant threat to our environment. In the interest of achieving ecological sustainability, the scientific community is calling for a four-fold reduction in global levels of energy and materials consumption. 

BCIT School of Construction and the Environment has embraced this bold and ambitious challenge to realize a 75% reduction in energy and materials consumption. This is called the Factor Four Initiative. 

The flagship project of the Factor Four Initiative is the Smart Thermal Microgrid - the first educational multi-integrated renewable district system in the province utilizing natural gas and biomass hybrid heating system within our Burnaby campus. This Wood Waste-to-Energy facility seeks to apply leading edge technology to convert existing 250 tonnes of wood waste from BCIT's Carpentry and Joinery programs into energy and provide heat for our Welding and Interior Design buildings.

The Smart Thermal Microgrid has the power to change learning and transform communities near and far by preparing BCIT's students for employment in the evolving world of sustainability and renewable energy. 

Once the facility becomes connected to the existing heating system, the energy contained in BCIT's 250,000 tonnes of wood waste will reduce the natural gas consumption on campus by approximately 4,800GJ per year - enough to provide heat to 100 Vancouver apartments.