History of Revelstoke's System

RCEC History


The Revelstoke Community Energy Corporation grew out of a lengthy process analyzing the best energy solutions for Revelstoke that would contribute to:

- improved air quality in the this section of the Columbia River Valley,

- assist Downie Timber Ltd. to eliminate its Oliveen burner,

- provide local employment,

- provide locally produced thermal energy, and

- keep money spent on energy in the community.


In 1996 an analysis of local energy uses was undertaken that resulted in the “Sheltair Report” that identified the buildings that might be suitable to connect to a community energy system.

In 2000, NRCanada funded a prefeasibility study for a Combined Heat and Power (CHP) Plant that would consume all of Downie’s annual output of 70,000 green tonnes of wood residue.

In 2001, the City put out an RFP for private sector proponents to do the project. The RFP did not attract any proposals that did not require some sort of guarantees from the City. The private sector expectations of 15% returns could not be met.

The City and Downie then agreed to try to pursue the project as a joint venture and commissioned FVB Energy of Edmonton to fully design and cost the project. At a cost of $18.5M, a plant generating ~4.5 MW of electricity (to be sold to BCHPA @ 5.1cents/kwh) and with only a feasible market for 20% of its residual heat proved uneconomic and the project was abandoned in the spring of 2003.

The City resolved to pursue a “heat only” project that would provide steam for Downie’s dry kilns and hot water for a District Energy system. The plant was commissioned in June 2005 with phase 1 of the DE system in place. Phases 2 and 3 were slated for the next year but were not completed until 2010.