New Sudbury Community Co-operative Proposes Major Solar Power Project
GREATER SUDBURY, Ontario, December 5, 2011 - A group of Sudburians have proposed to form a co-operative that would develop a significant solar power generation project in the city. Currently they are evaluating potential sites such as the rooftop of a local institutional building, and looking for more community input into where a good site might be.
We want the community to benefit as much as possible financially, socially and environmentally from this project,” Arik Theijsmeijer said. Mr. Theijsmeijer is the Vice-Chair of reThink Green, the local non-profit acting as one of the drivers behind the project. “We believe that if the community designs and owns a renewable energy project itself, it can be done without perceived negative effects to neighbours or anyone else,” he added. “If many individuals invest in this financially low-risk project we can make sure the revenues stay in the area.”
The group is considering a project potentially $1 million in cost or more, and looking for partners with major buildings or appropriate land in the city who would be interested in the benefits of hosting the project. “A site has to work technically, meaning being south-facing without shading, and having the structural strength and a good state of roof repair to hold the panels. It also has to work from a social point of view, meaning it doesn’t use good farm land, bother any neighbours, and it has a willing landowner partner who is committed to the project,” Theijsmeijer said.
The group was motivated by a recent seminar given in Sudbury by the Ontario Sustainable Energy Association on how straightforward it can be to develop a project due to new online software developed for the task. The results of the recent provincial election also helped in preserving the renewable energy purchase policies of the government. “If people have site ideas or want to get involved they can email
or call reThink Green’s office at 705-674-1685,” he noted.