Expanding fuel resilience at UBC

UBC is recognized as a world leading university for sustainability, ranking highly in numerous categories within the Times Higher Education table. To continue leading the charge in sustainability, it is important that we continue to develop our state of the art campus energy infrastructure, including our Campus Energy Centre (CEC).

To expand our fuel resilience, the CEC’s back-up diesel capacity was recently upgraded from a 42,000 litre tank to two 100,000 litre tanks. This upgrade increases our emergency fuel reserve at CEC by over 300%, supporting resiliency if our natural gas supply is interrupted.

Danny Smutylo, Director of Emergency Management in Safety & Risk Services is responsible for building resilience on campus and advising the campus community on emergency planning. “A reliable power supply is a key consideration in all emergency planning; without it, providing any level of mass care becomes very difficult. Ensuring we have alternative sources of power if our main system is compromised is essential,” said Smutylo.

A coordinated effort between VPFO operational team members in Energy & Water Services and Safety & Risk Services’ Environmental Protection team was required to move the 42,000 litre tank from CEC to its temporary home at the Environmental Services Facility (ESF) in south campus. Expertise from each team ensured the tank move took place safely. The tank will be stored at ESF for the short-term until a permanent home can be found.

“We wanted to keep hold of the original tank for a few reasons,” said John Metras, Associate Vice President, Facilities.  “The tank still operates perfectly, and nobody wants to see something like that end up in the scrap yard. As we continue to improve our fuel resiliency, we may see a need for additional diesel tanks, so we thought we’d store it for a couple of years while we work out a new permanent location for it.”