Downtown District Energy System Sold to Community Energy Innovator

ByShannon J. Cortes

Jun 27, 2022

Guelph, ON, June 27, 2022 — Guelph Municipal Holdings Inc. (GMHI) has sold the Downtown Energy System (DE) to Cascara Energy.

“Finding an operator willing to expand and invest in the district energy system is the best outcome we can hope for,” said Scott Stewart, GMHI’s chief executive. “Cascara has operated the district energy system for over a year and has improved service delivery for customers, which tells us that we have sold this asset to the right people.”

The downtown DE system provides heating and cooling for the Sleeman Center and River Mill condominiums.

“Getting from operator to owner was our vision, and we’re excited to see that vision become a reality,” shares Robert Croghan, CEO of Cascara. “We look forward to continuing to provide excellent service and grow our customer base in support of the City in its decarbonization goals.”

System Sale Supports Guelph’s Long-Term Climate Change Mitigation and Renewable Energy Goals

Finding a partner who can expand and invest in the existing district energy system is consistent with Council-approved 100% renewable energy and net-zero carbon energy targets for the City of Guelph and the Community of Guelph. These ambitious targets support the value of the community of Guelph in environmental stewardship and the City of Guelph. Future Ready priority of Sustaining Our Future. Cascara’s investment in district energy also supports Guelph’s participation in the UN Cities Race to Zero initiative.

“The sale of the downtown district energy system to a company in this sector is a concrete way for Guelph to move forward with its environmental and climate objectives. Reviewing assets like this has produced a positive outcome for our community, both environmentally and financially, and I’m very pleased with that,” said Mayor Cam Guthrie.


In 2015, two years after the district energy system was launched, the City learned that it was not achieving the expected environmental and revenue-generating benefits and Council ordered a third-party review of the asset. After careful consideration and with fiscal responsibility in mind, Council has decided to continue to operate the downtown district energy system and to examine opportunities for future growth. In 2019, following Guelph Hydro’s merger with Alectra, GMHI retained the energy assets in the neighborhood and Council directed staff to pursue the eventual sale of the downtown system. GMHI issued a Request for Expression of Interest and Request for Proposal to purchase the system and Cascara Energy was the successful bidder. In 2020, the Hanlon Creek Business Park district energy system was decommissioned and the energy assets were sold.

About Cascara Energy

Cascara Energy’s vision is to provide an affordable and sustainable system at scale. Cascara is a competitive new utility that accelerates communities on their journey to net zero. We build next-generation district energy networks by integrating renewable distributed energy resources, creating a circular economy for heat recycling. Our systems localize the renewable energy value chain, stabilize energy prices and improve energy reliability. The City of Guelph will be Cascara’s global showcase for neighborhood energy innovation.

Cascara was recently recognized as one of five top global startups enabling energy sharing.

For more information

Robert Croghan, CEO
Cascara Energy
[email protected]

Antti Vilkko, General Manager, Facilities and Energy Management
Infrastructure, development and enterprise services
City of Guelph
519 822-1260 ext. 2490
[email protected]