News release

Heat from Wastewater Treatment to Fuel Cogswell District

The province is investing more than $4.6 million for an energy system to supply heating, cooling and hot water for the new Cogswell District redevelopment area in downtown Halifax.

The system, the first in eastern Canada, will supply renewable energy generated by Halifax Water’s nearby wastewater effluent treatment facility, to six mixed-use buildings.

“This is a prime example of how innovative technologies can help communities meet their energy needs in more efficient and environmentally friendly ways,” said Labi Kousoulis, Minister of Inclusive Economic Growth, on behalf of Energy and Mines Minister Chuck Porter. “It is the first system of its kind in eastern Canada and will help Nova Scotia achieve its bold climate change targets.”

The federal government is investing more than $5.5 million in the project and Halifax Water is contributing over $3.7 million. The total cost of the project is almost $14 million.

Renewable thermal energy will be transferred from the treatment of wastewater effluent to efficiently heat and cool buildings in the area. The Cogswell District redevelopment area is one of the largest construction projects in the history of Halifax Regional Municipality and will recreate a neighbourhood that connects downtown Halifax with the north end and waterfront.

Halifax Water will own and operate the system, which will include distribution piping, energy transfer stations and interconnections to the recipient buildings. It is expected to meet more than 22 megawatts of peak energy demand annually.

Construction of the system is expected to start this fall.


Green projects like the Cogswell redevelopment area will help reduce greenhouse gas emissions while creating important jobs and economic opportunities for Halifax residents. As we build back better, important investments like these will help in our fight against climate change while building healthier communities for all Canadians. Andy Fillmore, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Infrastructure and Communities and Member of Parliament for Halifax, on behalf of Catherine McKenna, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities

The Cogswell District is a statement about the Halifax we are quickly becoming, a city that is connected, designed for people and ready to meet a sustainable energy future. Mike Savage, mayor, Halifax Regional Municipality

We are excited to be partnering with all three levels of government in the funding of this sustainable new development. By harnessing the energy resources of our existing wastewater infrastructure, it allows the Cogswell District energy system to become an innovative and sustainable cornerstone of the area’s redevelopment. Once Halifax Regional Council approves a construction tender for the Cogswell District redevelopment, Halifax Water will move forward and seek final approvals to proceed with this project. Cathie O’Toole, general manager, Halifax Water

Today’s funding announcement is an exciting step forward for the Cogswell District project. The district energy system aligns with our commitment to our long-term climate change plan to reduce emissions and harness sustainable energy in our communities. It will create many energy efficiencies for the new Cogswell District and will help us build for the future. Jacques Dubé, chief administrative officer, Halifax Regional Municipality

Quick Facts:

  • the province has set a target of cutting greenhouse gas emissions to 53 per cent below 2005 levels by 2030