Town of High Prairie Sports Palace and Gordon Buchanan Centre REALice Retrofit

This project was funded through the Recreation Energy Conservation Program

Town of High Prairie

2022Completion Year

$41,186Project Cost

$13,374.44Cost Savings

$27,811.56MCCAC Funding

1Simple Payback Period

56,048kWh/yearElectrical Energy Generation

568GJ/yearNatural Gas Energy Savings

60tonnes CO2e/yearGHG Reductions

Greenhouse gas emissions reductions for this project are calculated based on Alberta’s Carbon Offset Emission Factors Handbook Version 2.0


As part of the MCCAC’s Recreation Energy Conservation (REC) program, the Town of High Prairie installed a REALice system at the Sports Palace and Gordon Buchanan Centre. The Sports Palace was built in 1957 and the Gordon Buchanan Centre was added on in 2010. Between the two there is the curling rink which is operated by the local curling club. With individual ice surfaces, the three facilities cover an area of 100,000 ft2. All use the same refrigeration plant which was installed in 2006/7. The local gymnastic club uses loft space in the Sports Palace where there is also a concession and office space. The Gordon Buchanan Centre has a theatre space for performing arts and a heated viewing gallery. REALice is an energy-saving de-aerating system for ice rinks. It creates a controlled and structured vortex to remove gases and other particulates such as limescale as water flows through the device. REALice-treated water eliminates the need to use heated water when building or resurfacing your ice and reduces compressor loads. The system has no moving parts and is easily integrated into existing piping systems.                     

The project was commissioned in September 2021.


This newly installed REALice system will help to reduce the costs of heating the water used to resurface the ice as well as the electricity costs associated with cooling the ice following resurfacing. This system eliminates the need for hot water when building and resurfacing ice by removing micro air bubbles from the incoming water resulting in lower natural gas consumption from water heaters and less load on compressors.


The REALice installation resulted in a reduction of 60 tCO2/year and an energy cost saving of $13,374.44/year. The system enabled the water heater setpoint temperature to be dropped from 160 F to 70 F. The project resulted in a 14% GHG reduction from the existing system and a 7% reduction facility-wide from the baseline.

“The system will help to save money on operational costs and utility bills while also reducing environmental impact. The Town of High Prairie is excited to have access to this equipment to improve our operations while also cutting costs. The MCCAC grants allow municipalities to invest in opportunities that they may not otherwise be able to afford while also assisting them with making positive changes that will mitigate climate change and effectively improve the future of the environment”

Ramona Rollins, Recreation Superintendent


Read more about the Recreation Energy Conservation Program