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Energy plan puts windmills in play as an alternative source

Posted June 10, 2019

New Tecumseth's updated five year (2019-24) Energy Conservation and Demand Management Plan (ECDMP) includes as one of its goals, developing local renewable alternative energy sources.

The ECDMP flows from the 2015 partnership with Honeywell Ltd, which developed a program intended to help the Town deal with its energy consumption and related operational costs. The first phase completed in 2017 included replacing 1,800 streetlights to LEDs. Phase two includes upgrading HVAC, and lights at the Alliston Arena, the JOC in Beeton, and completing upgrades to remaining streetlights and six groundwater wells.

According to the report to council on tonight's agenda, the most current data is from 2016 for the Town's energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions at its 31 municipal facilities.

"The total energy consumption for electricity is 11,137,150 kWh and natural gas is 684,946 cubic metres for all buildings or facilities the Town owns or leases. About 1,710 tonnes of GHG emissions was produced in 2016. The total cost for electricity and natural gas was $2,953,429 for all facilities."

Between 2014-16 reduced its energy use by 3.5 per cent, and a 13 per cent drop in natural gas. The updated ECDMP sets an annual reduction target of two per cent through to 2024, estimated to save approximately $58,000 per year.

The third of five goals in the updated plan is to "explore renewable energy opportunities through Town funded initiatives."

Among the highlighted options:

  • Off-grid opportunities for the first self-sufficient facility in New Tecumseth;
  • Installation of windmill(s) at lagoons and Town's lands;
  • Purchase of solar panels to increase the use of an alternative energy source; and,
  • Revenue opportunities to turn sewage sludge becomes a source of alternative energy.

Renewable energy projects require final approval from the Ministry of Environment.

"The Town aspires to show leadership in clean energy and is actively working towards reducing conventional energy demand by utilizing alternative energy sources," according to the report. "This is a significant opportunity to achieve energy efficiency by focusing on renewable energy sources such as wind, solar and biosolids."

New Tecumseth holds lease agreements with third parties for solar panels on several public facilities, generating approximately $56,000 in revenues in 2018.

Implementing the ECDMP requires establishing a new staff position, Energy Conservation Officer, which will be included in the 2020 budget, "to take Town's initiatives to new heights."

Click to read the full report

All stories, unless otherwise noted,
by Tony Veltri