Minister Petitpas Taylor announces major investments to upgrade Gagetown military base

March 14, 2024 – Oromocto, New Brunswick – Department of National Defence / Canadian Armed Forces

Today, the Honourable Ginette Petitpas Taylor, Minister of Veterans Affairs and Associate Minister of National Defence, visited 5th Canadian Division Support Base Gagetown. The Minister was accompanied by Jenica Atwin, Member of Parliament for Fredericton.

On behalf of the Honourable Bill Blair, Minister of National Defence, Minister Petitpas Taylor announced that the Government of Canada is investing $55.6 million to upgrade 255 buildings on the base through an Energy Performance Contract. This includes LED lighting upgrades, heat and energy recovery systems for heating and cooling equipment, high efficiency boilers for heating, upgraded building envelopes, high efficiency water fixtures, a new high-efficiency gas power generator, and geothermal technology.

Once completed in 2026, this project will reduce the base’s energy costs by 24%, or $3 million annually, and its GHG emissions by over 8,700 tonnes per year – the equivalent of taking more than 1,700 cars off the road. The first emissions reduction and energy savings will be available starting next month, in April 2024, and we expect the upgrades to be complete by April 2026, with the full reduction in energy costs coming into effect at that point.

This project is expected to create more than 200 jobs in the Oromocto area during construction. In addition, already-hired workers will be gaining new skills through training on the use of the upgraded equipment. Ameresco Canada Inc., from Richmond Hill, Ontario, has also been awarded this second contract.

On behalf of Minister Blair, Minister Petitpas Taylor also announced that the Government of Canada is investing approximately $19.7 million to construct a solar farm with an output of up to 8.9 megawatts (MW) at the Gagetown military base. The federal government has awarded a contact for this project to Ameresco Canada Inc., of Richmond Hill, ON.

Once completed in 2025, the solar farm will help power over two-thirds of the energy used during peak hours at the base, reducing its greenhouse gas emissions by about 3,200 tonnes per year. The farm will produce approximately 8,900 MW hours of electricity annually, which is about a 20% of 5 CDSB Gagetown’s electricity requirements, or the equivalent of enough energy to power 2,000 homes. The solar farm will help the Government of Canada fulfil its target of using 100% clean electricity at all federal buildings by 2025 – and contribute to the federal government’s target of reaching carbon neutrality by 2050.

This project will generate significant economic benefits for the surrounding region, including Indigenous peoples. At least 5% of the value of goods, services and contracted labour will come from Indigenous-owned businesses and Indigenous peoples. We expect the total project investment to be about $27.5 million, including construction – and 25 years of operation, maintenance, life cycle and administrative costs, and more.

The Department of National Defence and Canadian Armed Forces have already reduced GHG emissions by 36% across Canada, compared with 2005 levels. The Government of Canada will continue to make landmark investments to reduce the carbon footprint of Defence infrastructure by powering military bases with clean electricity and improving the energy efficiency in our buildings.

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