The municipality still intends to make five buildings in downtown Dartmouth more energy efficient by using a unique system that uses seawater as an air conditioning source.

City councillors voted Tuesday night to move its Alderney 5 Energy Project forward at an additional cost of $590,000. When it’s completed the system will use water from Halifax Harbour to cool down Alderney Gate, Alderney Library, Alderney Landing, the Dartmouth Ferry Terminal and Halifax Regional School Board offices.

The $3-million project should result in more than $2-million in energy savings over two decades, according to an HRM news release.


The municipality calls it “the first large-scale application of geothermal seasonal cold-energy storage anywhere in the world,” explaining water chills “an underground rock mass” during winter and then that stored thermal energy is used in the summer.

Heating and lighting retrofits were completed last year, but work stopped this year after HRM ended its contract with High Performance Energy Systems. The cooling system likely won’t be turned on until the end of summer due to the delay, the release said.

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