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Downtown District Energy System

The City of Prince George's Downtown District Energy System produces thermal energy at a central plant on George Street and routes it to local buildings in the downtown core for space and domestic hot water heating.
The District Energy System has many benefits for Prince George:

  • reduces particulate emissions in the city’s air shed
  • permits the City and its customers to meet greenhouse gas reduction goals
  • reduces the City's reliance on non-renewable fossil fuels
  • positions the City as a leader in bioenergy application
  • assists with energy security and stability
  • keeps energy-related funds in the community
  • assists with downtown renewal
  • generates non-tax revenue for the City


When Prince George’s new municipal RCMP headquarters opened recently, it was the seventh building to be served by the DES, adding an additional 1,050 metres of distribution piping to the system. The expanded system displaces approximately 36,643 GJ/yr of natural gas while reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 1,868 tonnes per year. Conversion to the DES reduced the city’s natural gas consumption by 17,000 gigajoules in 2013—enough energy to heat 110 homes for a year.

Approximately 80 per cent of the energy supplied by the DES is derived from wood residues from Lakeland Mills sawmill, which has provided the DES with heat from biomass since it was commissioned in June 2012.

Even more recently, the Wood Innovation and Design Centre was the eighth facility to connect to the system.



On June 7, 2010, City Council approved the next steps towards development of a wood fibre-based downtown district energy system that would provide carbon neutral green energy to buildings in downtown Prince George.

Construction of the District Energy System (DES) began in July, 2011.

The Peaking Backup Energy Centre on George St was completed March 2012. This building houses distribution pumps and peaking backup natural gas fired boilers. These provide hot water to the District during times when Lakeland Mills is shut down for routine maintenance or when it is very cold outside and heat is in high demand.
After the tragic mill explosion in 2012, Lakeland secured a source of biomass from another site and the DES was not functionally affected by the tragedy. Natural gas boilers provide the system with back-up capacity.

The distribution piping from Lakeland to the Energy Centre, City Hall, Civic Centre, Coliseum, and the Four Seasons Pool was completed May 2012 along with the Energy Transfer Stations (ETS) in each building. We are now providing space heating and domestic hot water to these buildings using hot water heated by Sinclar Group Forest Products' Lakeland Mills energy system using woody biomass.  The District Energy System has optimized the system already in place at Lakeland Mills operations to burn sawmill residues with greater efficiency and reduced emissions.

The first phase of the DES included energy transfer stations located inside six public buildings and a distribution system consisting of 4,300 metres of buried supply and return pipe.

The System was connected to the new RCMP building late last year, and to the Wood Innovation and Design Centre in May of 2014.

Should you have any questions regarding this project, please contact Steven Mercedes via email or phone 250-561-7750.


Full Name: Steven Mercedes
Job Title: Supervisor Utility Plants
Business Phone: 250.561.7750
E-mail Address:

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©2013 City of Prince George 1100 Patricia Blvd. Prince George, British Columbia, Canada V2L 3V9 Telephone: 250.561.7600