Nova Scotia

Halifax navy proposes efficient air conditioning

Halifax's naval base wants to use seawater to power the air conditioning in three of the dockyard's buildings.

Halifax's naval base wants to use seawater to power the air conditioning in three of the dockyard's buildings.

However, it's a massive project, and the Navy is not sure what it will cost.

It would be a first for the Navy's Atlantic Division, but not for HRM.

Similar systems are already in place at Alderney Landing, Purdy's Wharf and Casino Nova Scotia — the casino has been using seawater to power its air conditioning since 2000.

"Today, the technology is proven. It's used in buildings along the waterfront already, and it's proven to be cost effective. That's the reason we're looking at it now and moving forward with some of these early planning stages," said Bill Kelly, environmental protection officer for the base.

Pipes would be laid deep in the Halifax harbour, which draw in cold water during the winter months.

It's stored underground until it's needed in the summer, and the heated water is then expelled back into the harbour.

"We do know it's going to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions. There should be very little greenhouse gas emissions with this system, as compared to what we're using now."

Construction can't begin until the Navy completes an environmental assessment.

"Here at the dockyard, the plan is still in the preliminary stages. Construction won't begin for at least another two years, and it won't be complete for another six months after that," said Kelly.

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