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Upgrades save $40K annual energy per arena
Doug-Harvey Arena refrigeration replacement set for 2013
Article mis en ligne le jeudi 8 septembre 2011

Photo: Leila Lemghalef

The Doug-Harvey Arena will be upgraded in 2013.

Both public skating arenas in CDN-NDG will be worked on as part of the City of Montreal’s program to support arena upgrades, starting with the Doug-Harvey Arena’s refrigeration system.

Montreal began the conversion of skating rink refrigeration systems in 2009. Four arenas will be upgraded and four more will be planned out each year until 2020. At that point, atmosphere-damaging, fluorocarbons-based refrigeration systems will be banned. Most of the 40 arenas across the 19 boroughs use the chemical substance known as freon.

The work is being carried out in alignment with the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer. The protocol was first negotiated and signed in 1987 by 24 countries, including Canada. Since September 2009, 196 countries have ratified the treaty, under the auspices of the Ozone Secretariat of the United Nations Environment Programme headquartered in Nairobi, Kenya.

Within the framework of the 2006-2012 Climate Change Action Plan, the Quebec government has set out the Refrigeration Optimization Program, which recognizes that synthetic refrigerants can be replaced with natural ones that are less polluting and more effective.

The City of Montreal has decided to replace its old freon systems with ammoniac-based models, pointing out that these installations will be safe for the ozone layer. The operation will cost an estimated $5M per arena, 80 per cent of which will be covered by the central city. The provincial government will also be asked for financial assistance. In a report relating to the project, the borough states that it would be under serious strain to single-handedly finance the required upgrades for its arenas.

The borough spends $1.5M annually on its arenas, which are fully paid for. An average of $40,000 in energy savings can be expected per year per arena after the upcoming modifications. That represents a 30 per cent reduction from the energy expenditure today.

Doug-Harvey Arena, built in 1970, will be renovated in the spring and summer seasons of 2013. In the meantime, planning and contracts will be determined during the first phase of the project. The City of Montreal is in charge of public bids. Bill-Durnan Arena, which was built in 1982, will be modernized in 2014-15. Some typical priorities facing old arenas are aging compressors, leak-prone floors, and timeworn walls. Part of the improvements will provide people with reduced mobility access to the arenas and to their bathroom facilities.

The borough’s arenas are in very high demand by bodies such as the Montreal Figure Skating Club and the NDG Minor Hockey Association, which also tend to compete for the same time slots.

Bill-Durnan opens its ice on September 6, followed by Doug-Harvey on September 12. Skates are available for rent. There are also 15 parks in the borough that set up outdoor skating rinks in the winter.

[ Leila Lemghalef ]

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