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Innovative financial partnership unlocks geothermal energy potential in the GTA

Financing by VCIB will support the development and operation of multiple geothermal district energy systems through a unique partnership between Forum Equity Partners and Subterra Renewables.

December 10, 2020: Traditional Territories of multiple Indigenous Nations, including the Haudenosaunee and the Treaty Territory of the Mississaugas of the Credit/Toronto, ON – Vancity Community Investment Bank (VCIB), Canada’s first values-driven bank, is pleased to announce the successful close of a construction financing facility with Forum Equity Partners, an alternative asset private capital investor with a focus on real estate, infrastructure, and building services, and Subterra Renewables, a leading low-carbon district energy developer.

The financing, which was provided through VCIB’s subsidiary CoPower, will enable the development and operation of multiple geothermal district energy systems for new tower and townhouse complexes in the Greater Toronto Area through a partnership between Forum and Subterra. The projects are expected to result in approximately 550 tonnes of annual CO2e emissions savings over a 30-year lifespan, when compared to conventional HVAC systems.

“Geothermal is a proven, clean and cost-effective alternative to traditional HVAC,” said Lucie Andlauer, CEO of Subterra Renewables. “We’re pleased to partner with forward-looking financiers like VCIB and Forum to help make geothermal a standard building feature going forward.”

The partnership between Forum and Subterra designs, installs, owns, and operates geothermal systems using a utility model—a unique solution that allows real estate developers to incorporate clean energy into new developments at zero cost, and allows property owners to save on heating and cooling bills from day one.

“VCIB views geothermal energy as critical strategy for decarbonizing our buildings and getting to net-zero,” said Vince Gasparro, VCIB’s Managing Director, Corporate Development & Clean Energy Finance, referring to the fact that large-scale heating and cooling of buildings remains a challenge for cities. “We’re proud to provide financing to support Subterra and Forum in scaling their investments in clean energy and conservation infrastructure projects.”

“To bring geothermal into the mainstream, we need to make it an easy and cost-effective choice for property developers and owners,” said Duncan Ramage, a Partner at Forum Equity Partners. “Flexible and thoughtful capital sources like VCIB and CoPower are exactly what we need in order to do that.”

This financing follows on a landmark $250 million partnership announced by Forum and Subterra in May 2019 focused on the development of low-carbon district energy systems across North America, as well as VCIB’s own move into clean energy and energy efficiency financing with the acquisition of CoPower in November 2019.

For more information please contact:

Rob Kaplan, Vice President, Forum Equity Partners

Lauryn Drainie, Marketing Strategist, VCIB

About Vancity Community Investment Bank

VCIB is an Ontario-based schedule 1 federally chartered bank and a subsidiary of Vancouver City Savings Credit Union. As Canada’s first values-driven bank, VCIB provides banking, investing, and financing solutions, to help purpose-driven businesses and organizations thrive, grow, and foster change. Additionally, VCIB offers specialized financing solutions for social purpose real estate and clean energy projects.  VCIB is a certified B Corporation and a member of the Global Alliance for Banking on Values. For more information, visit, tweet us at @BankVancity and connect with us on LinkedIn.

About Forum Equity Partners

Founded in 1996, Forum is an alternative asset manager with a focus on real estate, infrastructure, renewables, and building services. Forum pursues value-added and opportunistic investments, often with an element of recurring or contracted revenue and works with its partners to achieve aggressive growth through innovation and active management. Forum oversees approximately C$1.4 billion enterprise value in assets under management. For further information, please visit their website at or connect with them on LinkedIn.

About Subterra Renewables

Subterra Renewables is a fully integrated renewable energy developer that provides efficient, low-carbon, geothermal heating and cooling systems for commercial and residential buildings, reducing capital costs for developers. Subterra’s turnkey solution allows developers to capture upfront capital savings while increasing building efficiency, reducing maintenance costs, and protecting against rising energy costs. Subterra designs, drills, funds, owns, operates and maintains geothermal energy systems at zero cost to the developer, and also acquires operational geothermal systems. Through our alliance with Turnkey Site Solutions, we have created Canada’s first full-service geothermal drilling and shoring service. For further information, please visit our website at

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Vancity Community Investment Bank is a member of CDIC and is a Certified B CorpTM