Oval Village Project Profile

The Client

Lulu Island Energy Company (LIEC) is a wholly owned municipal corporation established by the City of Richmond, BC, to provide sustainable energy at competitive prices. Located 20 minutes south of Vancouver, BC, Richmond is a growing city that is committed to becoming a sustainable, low-carbon community.

The Challenge

The Richmond Olympic Oval was built for the 2010 Winter Olympics and is the namesake for a new waterfront community. With the creation of Oval Village, the City saw an opportunity to incorporate a new District Energy Utility (DEU) and use it as a foundation for a wider-reaching, sustainable, and environmentally responsible energy system that would support nearby high-density development.

The Solution

Corix Utilities worked with LIEC to determine Richmond’s short and long-term energy needs, and considered its unique requirements related to density, a high water table, earthquake risks, municipal
by-laws, and long-term energy and sustainability goals. Corix's team of experts created business models, designed a flexible DEU, determined a cost-effective financing arrangement, sourced the
necessary equipment and infrastructure, and built a customized DEU. Corix professionals were involved every step of the way and continue to provide ongoing operating and maintenance services.


After a competitive proposal process, Corix and LIEC entered into a public-private partnership project to provide Richmond with a cost-effective DEU designed to meet current and future energy needs.
Under a 30-year agreement, LIEC owns the DEU, which Corix designed, built, and financed. Corix continues to bring this owner’s approach to the ongoing operations and maintenance of the DEU.
The DEU approach benefits both the City and Richmond developers. The agreement saves Richmond from the need to hire, train, and equip staff to operate and maintain the DEU. The system also saves
developers the costs associated with the provision, maintenance, and upgrading of their buildings’ heating infrastructure. With Corix's knowledgeable professionals operating and maintaining the system,
the City has worry-free, reliable, and cost-effective thermal energy for space heat and domestic hot water.


The Oval Village DEU can adapt to changing demands and is technology agnostic – it can be expanded to serve higher loads and is designed to use a wide range of energy sources. LIEC can use the system immediately to serve the new Oval Village and, when the surrounding area has been further developed, utilize the most practical low-carbon energy resource available at that time to serve higher demands created by planned future build-outs.


The first three Oval Village developments are served by the DEU’s 8MWt and 3MWt interim natural gas energy centers, underground distribution piping, service connections, and energy transfer stations.
As development in the service area continues, Corix will expand the DEU and switch to a low-carbon energy source when it becomes economically feasible.

At full build-out, Oval Village is forecasted to require a 24MWt energy centre. It will connect approximately 20 to 25 residential and commercial developments with more than 500,000 m2 of gross
floor area.

The current business model assumes that, when development density within the Oval Village DEU service area is sufficient, sewage influent from the sewer trunk main that services the surrounding
area will be utilized by a sewage heat recovery system to provide the DEU’s anchor low-carbon energy source. Natural gas will remain a peaking and back-up energy source with the sewer heat recovery
system providing approximately 70% of the DEU’s annual energy requirements.

The Bottom Line

Corix's highly experienced team worked with the City to analyze its short- and long-term energy requirements, and then designed, financed, and built flexible infrastructure that can adapt to changing
user loads and energy sources. As the DEU operator, Corix eliminates the need for the City to invest in the manpower, training, and resources required to operate and maintain the system. Corix helps ensure the system will provide safe, reliable, cost-effective, and sustainable energy for decades to come.