Ontario’s green-energy Klondike is spreading offshore, and in a big way.
Canadian Hydro Developers Inc., the country’s largest independent developer of wind-energy projects, said on Monday it plans to erect enough wind turbines in Lake Erie to power two million homes.
The area Canadian Hydro has targeted starts about five kilometres off the shore of Long Point Provincial Park and stretches roughly 80 kilometres west to a spot that’s 30 kilometres south of Port Stanley.
Fishing tugs in Port Stanley harbour
Shutting down the only deepwater port on the north shore of Lake Erie could result in Port Stanley losing business and mariners losing their lives, warns one skipper who says he can no longer make it a port of call unless it’s dredged.
Ralph Watson of London, skipper of the 41-metre J. R. Rouble, has written a letter with his concerns to consultants considering the future of the silt-clogged harbour.
“It will be truly sad if something isn’t done to ensure Port Stanley remains a viable commercial harbour and a safe haven for mariners,” he wrote consultant Mark Conway.
Conway’s, firm, N. Barry Lyons Consultants, has been retained to develop plans for the port if the Municipality of Central Elgin accepts it from Transport Canada.
Giant conglomerate Samsung is apparently pondering a wind farm comprising 200 turbines on the north shore of Lake Erie but the Ontario government would only confirm Sunday that talks with the Korean-based company are in advanced stages.
The proposed wind farm, part of Samsung’s new push into renewable energy, would stretch about 25 kilometres from Port Maitland toward Nanticoke, an area considered to have excellent wind potential.
The Ontario government said the two parties have been involved in “months of extraordinarily co-operative effort” toward an agreement that would involve billions of new investment, including in manufacturing facilities.
TORONTO — South Korean electronics and industrial giant Samsung is in talks with the Ontario government to establish a renewable energy business in the province.
In a release, Ontario says talks have been ongoing for months and progress is being made toward an agreement.
In May, Samsung announced plans to enter the wind turbine market in 2010.
Erie Shores Wind Farm
The tricky business of going green in Ontario got more complex on Thursday as the McGuinty government introduced a mandatory ‘Buy Ontario’ component for new solar and wind projects.
The changes were part of a bundle of key new policies designed to spark home-grown green manufacturing, as well as the wide deployment of its products — everything from small, rooftop solar panels to industrial-sized wind farms.
But in trying to strike a balance between competing interests, the Liberals appear to have rattled all sides in the debate.
Awareness may be the sole ray of sunshine arising from the rubble and ruin of Alma College.
And, how appropriate in the same week two teenaged jokesters were slapped on the wrist for torching the main building at the former school for girls, the St. Thomas-Elgin branch of Architectural Conservancy of Ontario warns a similar fate of destruction by neglect could be in store for other educational facilities in the city.
The local ACO branch was established earlier this year to counter the lack of will from all levels of government to protect heritage properties in St. Thomas and Elgin.
At a public forum held Tuesday, it was noted a half-dozen city schools have either closed or will do so in the near future.
When Ford closes its mammoth St. Thomas assembly plant in about two years – as it’s expected to – the fallout won’t stop with the loss of 1,500 or so well-paying blue-collar jobs. There’s the matter of the millions of tax dollars Ford pays in Elgin County, the hundreds of thousands of dollars Ford workers contribute to the United Way every year and the tens of millions they spend in their communities on homes, cars, groceries, appliances, municipal taxes, entertainment and recreation.
Posted by Ian:
Drive along South Edgeware Road to get a first-hand look at the absolute economic devastation in St. Thomas, the result of the loss of up to 4,000 manufacturing and related jobs. Now with the pending closure of the St. Thomas Ford Assembly Plant in 2011, the fallout will be more than the 1,500 or so remaining jobs at the sprawling complex. Start with Lear, and the list of victims grows from there, as noted in this Globe and Mail story from Sept. 24/09 …
Closing the plant would be a serious blow to St. Thomas, which has already sustained the shutdown of a Sterling truck factory by Daimler AG, said Scott Smith, unit chair of CAW local 1520, which represents workers at the Ford plant.
If the Ford plant closes, suppliers are also likely to close, Mr. Smith noted, pointing to Lear Corp., which is operating in Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and has a plant in St. Thomas that supplies seats to the Ford plant.
Ontario expects to cover the total cost and provide “a reasonable rate of return” for investments in green energy projects through decades-long contracts with fixed electricity prices.
The government said it is the first program of its kind in North America.
Solar, wind, water, biomass, biogas and landfill gas producers, including individual homeowners, will all be eligible to sell their power to the provincial grid under the program, one of the four final components of the Ontario Green Energy Act announced by Premier Dalton McGuinty Thursday.