The University of British Columbia (UBC) has commenced construction of the $18.7m (C$23m) new renewable energy hub. The development stands next to Doug Mitchell Thunderbird Sports Centre at UBC’s Point Grey campus.
Hundreds of solar panels will be installed to generate 1MW of solar power that will power green energy infrastructure including high-voltage, electric vehicle charging facilities that will be operational by later this summer.
There will be a hydrogen refuelling station, which runs on power generated by solar arrays. Expected to open in March 2022, the station will supply power for both light and heavy-duty vehicles.
The solar energy system is slated to be operational by October 2022. Additionally, there will be data analytics system, which will be managed by UBC’s existing wireless and 5G networks.
UBC president and vice- chancellor Prof. Santa J. Ono said: “This is an exciting moment for UBC. In the face of a growing climate crisis, we are mobilizing even more of our institutional education, research and innovation capacity to pursue climate solutions.
“This renewable energy hub is an important piece, and we are truly grateful to our partners in government and industry who helped bring it to life.”
UBC’s renewable energy hub is located close to BC Hydro substation and the Campus’ Energy Centre, which supplies hot water to 130 campus buildings. Ministry of Energy, Mines and Low Carbon Innovation has announced $4.5m (C$5.6m) in low-carbon fuel standard credits towards the project.
Canada Foundation for Innovation, BC Knowledge Development Fund, Natural Resources Canada, Western Economic Diversification Canada and industry partners have also funded the project.
British Columbia Energy, Mines and Low Carbon Innovation Minister Bruce Ralston said: “BC is well positioned to become a world leader in clean energy, and this project demonstrates the excellent potential right here in the Lower Mainland.”