Brock University is a public research university in St. Catharines, Ontario, located within a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, an ecosystem that promotes the conservation of biodiversity through sustainable use. Due to the rising cost of power from the electric grid, 25 years ago the university commissioned a 6.4 MW district energy plant, to produce heating, cooling, and electricity, all from one fuel source.
Last summer, Brock began replacing eight existing Cat® G3516A workhorse engines with four Cat G3516H engines, which produce 2 MW of electricity each, to significantly reduce the university’s carbon footprint. The new plant provides 100 percent of campus energy demand, is 20 percent more efficient, and reduces nitrogen oxide emissions by 95 percent and carbon monoxide by 93 percent. The increased efficiency of the new G3516H gensets will help meet their goal of a 20 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2023.
Brock has numerous sensitive research-intensive facilities. As an additional benefit, the cogeneration plant can operate on island mode, so Brock is able to protect these valuable facilities with a reliable energy supply in the face of power outages or severe weather.
Cat dealer Toromont Power Systems performs annual maintenance and provides technical expertise for any operational issues. For more than 25 years, Toromont has provided reliable, cost-effective energy to the campus community. Toromont and Brock University conduct research together to find ways to make the plant even more sustainable.
“Sustainability is at the core of all we do at Brock,” says Scott Johnstone, Brock’s associate vice president of facilities management. “This project is taking us to the next level of performance efficiency and represents the beginning of bigger things to come.”