As reported by the CBC, The federal government is contributing $3.5 million to upgrade and expand a 35-year-old waste-to-energy system in Charlottetown owned by Enwave Energy Corporation. 

Enwave operates the system, which provides 125 buildings, including the Queen Elizabeth Hospital (which is across the street), with thermal energy from composted waste.

The upgrade will include a larger furnace, the addition of a heat recovery boiler, and advanced air pollution controls.

The feedstock to the facility will be black bin waste from Kings, Queens, and Prince counties. The heat generated from the combustion of the waste will be used to steam.

As reported by the CBC, Charlottetown MP Sean Casey stated: “It will divert an additional 23,000 tonnes of organic waste from the regional landfill, reduce landfill methane emissions, increase annual energy production and reduce fuel oil consumption for the Charlottetown District Energy System.”

Funding for the Project

According to the General Manager of Enwave in P.E.I., Dave Godkin, the budget for the project is in the order of $37 million dollars.

Partial funding for the upgrade comes from the Canadian governments Low Carbon Economy Fund. Enwave will cover the anything not covered under the government grant.

The $2 billion Low Carbon Economy Fund (LCEF) is an important part of the Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change (the Framework). The Fund supports the Pan-Canadian Framework by leveraging investments in projects that will generate clean growth, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and help meet or exceed Canada’s Paris Agreement commitments.

Projects approved under the LCEF have to have to meet the following criteria:

  • create jobs for Canadians for years to come
  • deliver clean, sustained growth
  • support innovation
  • reduce energy bills


“This plant is 35 years old and 35 years ago it was seen as ahead of its time and visionary, and probably now not so much,” MPP Casey said. “This is a major upgrade. Right now, in here, what is being burned is household waste, wood biomass and petroleum.”

With the upgrades, the facility will reduce the amount of burned petroleum and increase burning of household waste, Casey said.

“This facility basically was at capacity, this announcement here today is great news because what we can see from Island Waste Management’s perspective is, burnable waste, or waste that can be used at an expanded facility like this will be transported from the western part of the Island into the capital region.”

The company has been looking at ways to improve the system and reduce oil consumption, said Dave Godkin, general manager for Enwave in P.E.I.

Extending the Landfill Life, Reducing GHG Emissions

Gerry Moore, CEO of Island Waste Management Corporation (IWMC), said the black box waste that will be diverted to the Enwave facility will increase the lifespan of the landfill located in Wellington.

Aerial view of the IWMC Landfill (Photo Credit: IWMC)

At the moment 25,000 tonnes a year of waste is being burned at the Enwave facility. After the upgrades to the facility, the company hopes the upgrades will help double that. Supplanting oil as the fuel with waste will result in the percent of oil used at the facility from 20 percent to five percent.

Through the life of the project it could, on average, reduce CO2 (equivalent) emissions by 75,000 tonnes a year, Godkin said. The greenhouse gas reductions (GHG) would be realized by diverting waste from landfill. Methane gas, a GHG, is generated at at landfills when the organic matter in the waste degrades under anaerobic conditions.

Work on the expansion is expected to begin next year with the aim of having it complete by 2022.