Caterpillar Inc. has announced that it has been selected to provide two cogeneration plants to Markham District Energy Inc. (MDE), an energy company owned by the City of Markham, Ontario, Canada. Local Cat dealer Toromont will be supplying a CG260-12 generator set for the MDE Birchmount Energy Centre, a CG260-16 generator set for the Bur Oak Energy Centre and ancillary electrical and mechanical equipment for both sites. The CG260 generator sets will provide a combined 7 MW of electricity and 7MW of thermal energy to the Markham district energy systems. These projects will be the first in North America that will employ Caterpillar’s recently introduced CG260 Series of high efficiency gas generator sets.

MDE was established in 1999 to develop best-in-class district energy systems for Markham’s developing urban centers. Produced at central plants, heated and chilled water is distributed throughout the community via underground thermal distribution systems. To dramatically increase efficiency and reduce emissions, MDE has deployed an aggressive combined-heat-and-power (CHP) strategy (also referred to as cogeneration, the simultaneous production of electrical and thermal energy from a single fuel source) using state-of-the-art reciprocating engine generator set and heat recovery technology. CHP is widely recognized as a highly efficient and socially responsible way of meeting a community’s energy needs.

“We have successfully operated Cat power generation equipment for over a decade now and Toromont has been an excellent local partner since our project was first commissioned,” said Bruce Ander, MDE president and CEO. “When Caterpillar offered the CG260 product in response to our recent request for proposals, we were very impressed and pleased that they won the competition. When we complete the new CHP projects, MDE will operate over 20 MW of Cat powered generators at three locations that provide reliable and efficient power and heating to our Markham customers.”

MDE’s first district energy system was developed in 2000 to serve Markham Centre, the City’s emerging downtown core. MDE commissioned its second district energy system in 2012 to service East Markham, a rapidly growing urban centre with the expanding Markham Stouffville Hospital as an anchor energy customer.