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Zibi is to become the National Capital Region’s first carbon-neutral community thanks to an innovative partnership with Hydro Ottawa and Kruger Products.

A new partnership between Zibi, Hydro Ottawa, and Kruger Products will put the Ottawa-Gatineau Metropolitan Area on the map as a leader in combating climate change. The Zibi community — which is being developed by Dream Unlimited Corp, Dream Impact Trust, and Theia Partners — is being planned, designed, and built from the ground up to produce zero carbon emissions using district energy for heating and cooling.

Digital rendering of the Zibi community in the morning

A revolutionary new community concept

Zibi is a city within a city. A sustainable waterfront community in downtown Ottawa and Gatineau, it enjoys an unrivalled waterfront location, rich in cultural heritage and history. Following hundreds of years of industrial operations, these 34 acres bordering the Ottawa River will finally be reintroduced to the National Capital Region, becoming home to thousands of people.

Digital rendering of the Zibi community at street level

The Zibi Community Utility (ZCU) is a district energy system relying on energy recovery from effluents from Kruger Products’ Gatineau Plant for heating and the Ottawa River for cooling. When completed, all four million square feet of residential and commercial buildings at Zibi will be interconnected through a hydronic loop that will deliver heating and cooling energy. The system, developed by Zibi, will provide zero-carbon heating and cooling for all Zibi tenants and residents.

The ZCU is integral to helping Zibi attain its One Planet Living goals of ensuring its energy needs are satisfied on a net-zero carbon basis. While many district thermal systems exist in Canada, Zibi will be the first in North America to use post-industrial effluent energy recovery in a master-planned community.

Creating a new model for zero-carbon district energy

When it first comes online in 2021, the ZCU plant, located on the lower level of a residential building on the Gatineau side, will be accessible to residents and visitors to allow them to witness the operations and learn about the innovative technology.

In addition to introducing district energy, a creative partnership with telecom company Beanfield will use the energy system pipe corridors to lay infrastructure for its fibre-optic network, offering 1 Gbps symmetrical upload and download speeds delivered over a dedicated fibre connection. Through this partnership, reliable and affordable internet, phone, and TV services will be provided to all Zibi residents and businesses, along with free WiFi in public spaces, making Zibi one of Canada’s most technologically-advanced communities.

The partnership between Zibi, Hydro Ottawa, and Kruger Products is a first in the region, creating a model for zero-carbon district energy and helping both the City of Ottawa and la Ville de Gatineau meet their climate goals.

Through this partnership, Hydro Ottawa provides more than 100 years of trusted utility experience and will work to integrate innovative clean energy solutions into the Zibi project in support of the group’s One Planet Action Plan, which focuses on zero-carbon and zero-waste development, among other sustainable benefits.

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