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Community Power Fund approves grants for six new community projects

Tuesday, March 17th 2009 9:38:46am

Communities in Waterloo Region, Peterborough County, Nipissing, Greater Toronto Area and Northwestern Ontario forge ahead with renewable energy project development

Communities in Waterloo Region, Peterborough County, Nipissing, Greater Toronto Area and Northwestern Ontario forge ahead with renewable energy project development

(Toronto, Ontario)  The Community Power Fund announced the approval of six new grants to communities across Ontario. The projects represent a diverse group of initiatives including: a First Nation’s small-hydro project in the northwestern Ontario, a solar/wind project at a mosque in Maple, a co-operatively owned wind farm west of Kitchener, a solar/geothermal project at the Buckhorn Community Center, a Toronto housing co-operative solar thermal initiative, and a First Nations biomass cogeneration plant near North Bay.

"It is wonderful to see these projects moving forward given all of the barriers communities face when they pursue a renewable energy project in Ontario," said Meghan MacLennan, the Community Power Fund's Program Manager.  "The projects represent a   cross section of Ontario and reflect how community power can be harnessed by all Ontarians."

The approval of these six applications represents a much-needed investment of over $179,000 in sustainable community development. “This grant will enable us to determine the best course of action that is both feasible and environmentally responsible,” said Director of the Buckhorn Community Centre, Sean Flanagan. “Without the CPFund grant, we would not have been able to explore the feasibility of doing a renewable energy project in our community.”

"While these projects are a good model for other community efforts, they are just the tip of the iceberg. Ontario needs legislation that will help remove barriers and level the playing field for community power" said Deb Doncaster, Executive Director of the Community Power Fund. "The Green Energy Act will be the seminal piece of legislation providing support for Community Power in Ontario."  

The Community Power Fund was founded in 2007 by the Ontario Sustainable Energy Association (OSEA) with $3 million in seed money from the Government of Ontario.  The Community Power Fund's goal is to ensure communities wanting to develop and own local renewable energy projects have access to financial resources through all stages of project development.

For further information contact:

Deborah Doncaster, Executive Director, Community Power Fund, 416-977- 3154 ext. 241 or cell phone: 416-824-4866

Brent Kopperson, Chair, Community Power Fund, 905-727-0491 ext. 117

Information on the Community Power Fund can be found at www.cpfund.ca

Background Information – Successful Grant Applicants:

Windward Co-operative Homes is a federal housing co-op on the Toronto waterfront. Last fall, they successfully completed a feasibility study for a solar thermal installation, which was funded by the Community Power Fund. Now they have been approved for a project development grant for $47,000 to complete the remaining development work and they hope to begin construction in April of this year.
Contact: Jim Mulheron, 416-593-1749

Buckhorn Community Centre is investigating options for an energy retrofit and received a pre-feasibility grant of $3,000 to explore the possibility of installing a geoexchange and solar hot water system at the Centre.
Contact: Deb Crossen, 705-657-7717

Nipissing First Nation in partnership with Gemini Power is developing a biomass co-generation plant near North Bay. They were approved for a $59,000 feasibility grant to complete their connection impact assessment and business plan.
Contact: Dwayne Nashkawa, 705-498-2527

Local Initiative For Future Energy (LIFE) is a co-operative group located west of Kitchener and is pursuing a 10 MW wind farm near St. Agatha. In round one, LIFE was approved for a pre-feasibility grant to complete a pre-feasibility study for their project and have now been approved for a $40,000 feasibility grant to continue their work.
Contact: Yvonne Zyma, 519-662-6778

Muskrat Dam First Nation is located in northwestern Ontario and is exploring the possibility of replacing their diesel generation with a small hydroelectric project. The Fund board approved a feasibility grant of $25,000 for this remote community.
Contact: Roy Fiddler, 807-471-2573

AMJ Canada, an Islamic community organization in Maple, was approved for a pre-feasibility grant of $5,000. They plan to explore the possibility of in stalling a solar hot water and thermal heating system as well as two 100 kW wind turbines at the site of the Baitul Islam mosque and community centre.
Contact: Ijaz Rauf, 416-400-9127