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Published on November 14th, 2008 | by Andrew Williams

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Ottawa's Cool Plan to Use White Snow For Green Energy

November 14th, 2008 by  


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Officials in Ottawa are considering a cool plan to use the ‘cold energy’ stored in snow as a source of renewable energy in public buildings across the city.

Under the plan, snow collected on the Ottawa streets during the cold winter months would be used to keep the city’s hospitals, universities and government buildings cool during the hot summer. Snow collected during the winter normally melts by early June, but, if the plan gets the green light, it will be insulated with wood chips, making it last until September. The icy melt-water could then be fed through pipes to keep buildings cool without the need for expensive, and energy hungry, air conditioners.


A study commissioned to investigate the in’s and out’s of the scheme is due to report back early next year. Councillor Diane Deans, who first dreamt up the idea, is very enthusiastic, telling reporters, “I think our taxpayers would be a lot happier knowing that snow, instead of just piling up and melting and costing them money, was actually being reused.”

Image Credit – *Micky via flickr.com on a Creative Commons license 
 
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About the Author

is a writer and freelance journalist specialising in sustainability and green issues. He lives in Cardiff, Wales.



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