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Friday May 6th - 2011
On Thursday May 5th, 2011 I was asked to speak for a confrence held at the Delta Hotel. The event was for the Ontario Electrical League.
Here are my notes I'd like to share with you:
Ontario Electrical League – Annual Conference, May 5, 2011
On behalf of the City of Guelph, I’m delighted to welcome you to our city for your Electrical Industry Conference. We’re very pleased to be hosting you. I was interested to learn that the focus of your day today is renewable and green energy. This is certainly an area of focus for Guelph. In 2007, Guelph City Council unanimously endorsed a 25-year Community Energy Plan that puts Guelph on the cutting edge in North America. The goals of the Plan are for Guelph to use less energy in 25 years than we do today - even with population growth of 65,000 people. This means cutting our energy use by 50 per cent per capita, and reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 60 per cent per capita.
We are now in the implementation phase of the Plan, and so have changed the name to Community Energy Initiative. Guelph’s Community Energy Initiative is attracting national and international attention. Most recently, the website MSN.com named Guelph the “most liveable” city in Canada outside of the big three of Toronto, Montreal, and Vancouver. Our Community Energy Initiative was cited as one of the reasons. It was also cited by Canadian Solar – one of the largest solar power companies in the world – as key to their decision to locate in Guelph, bringing 500 jobs here. Another solar company, Sustainable Energy Solutions, has also chosen to locate in Guelph, bringing another 100 solar manufacturing jobs. The renewable energy industry is one of the fastest-growing sectors in the economy. So we’re thrilled that Guelph is becoming known as “the place to be” for renewable energy. I mentioned that we’re in the implementation phase of the Community Energy Initiative. One of the key steps was the establishment of the Mayor’s Task Force on Community Energy. The Task Force includes representation from provincial organizations such as the Ministry of Energy and the Ontario Power Authority; national organizations such as the Canadian District Energy Association; and local stakeholders including Guelph Hydro and major companies such as Canadian Solar and Linamar. A number of specific initiatives are underway. For example, the City is currently working with Guelph Hydro to install up to 1 megawatt of solar panels on City-owned facilities. We have several renewable energy projects that are already up and running. One example is Ecotricity, which is located at the site of a closed local landfill. Ecotricity uses methane created from the waste to generate electricity and sells it back to the grid. Another example is Guelph’s Wastewater Treatment Plant, which generates electricity using the gases created by the treatment process. The electricity is used to run the Plant. Green and renewable energy is an exciting part of the electricity sector, and I think it’s safe to say it will become even more important in the years to come. Guelph is proud to be on the leading edge in this area. And I’m very pleased that all of you have taken the time to come to Guelph to share information on this topic. So once again, a warm welcome to Guelph.
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