McGuinty Government Investing To Spark Green Technology
TORONTO, April 11 /CNW/ -
A green energy project using innovative water turbines will generate
renewable power from the current of the St Lawrence River.
The Ontario Government-funded project, located near Cornwall, will turn
the river's strong current into 15 megawatts of clean energy, enough to power
11,000 average-sized homes.
It is the latest example of how the government is actively supporting
renewable energy and innovation as the province moves away from coal to
The turbine looks like an underwater windmill. Installed on the floor of
the river, the turbine taps into the power of the river's current to generate
clean electricity. The turbine blades rotate slowly allowing fish to pass
through safely with minimal environmental impact.
Burlington-based Verdant Power Canada
(http://www.verdantpower.com/what-core) will install their Free Flow(TM)
Turbine technology to test the feasibility of using it on a larger scale.
Verdant estimates (http://www.verdantpower.com/what-development) that
there is enough potential power in the water currents of Canada's tides,
rivers and manmade channels to generate 15,000 megawatts of clean electricity
using its technology - enough to power over 11 million average-sized homes.
Ontario is investing $2.2 million in this project under the Innovation
Demonstration Fund, which supports promising bio-based, environmental and
alternative energy technologies.
"Here's a great example of how innovative solutions to long-term
challenges like securing a renewable energy supply are being developed right
here in Ontario. With this project we are demonstrating a clean, viable
alternative source of energy - one that not only works in Ontario, but one we
can export around the world." - John Wilkinson, Minister of Research and
"This project shows what can be achieved through the commitment of this
community to make a greener, more innovative Ontario and that our riding is
ideal for opportunities in renewable energy and green technologies. The St.
Lawrence River has been a major contributor to life in this area for hundreds
of years, and thanks to some visionary thinking and timeless Ontario
ingenuity, it is now also a source of clean, responsible energy." - Jim
Brownell, MPP Stormont- Dundas-South Glengarry
"Developing clean, affordable and sustainable sources of energy is a top
priority of our government. This project is exemplary of Ontario's drive
toward a greener energy future." - Gerry Philips, Minister of Energy
"Water is a proven resource for generating power. But we are going to
demonstrate a game-changing power source - simply by using underwater currents
without dams." - Verdant Power Co-founder and President Trey TaylorQUICK FACTS
- The Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources conservatively estimates
that there is 2,000 megawatts of untapped waterpower potential in
Ontario - enough to power a million and a half homes.
- See an animation of Verdant's technology
(http://www.verdantpower.com/what-systemsint) in action
- The Ministry of Research and Innovation's Innovation Demonstration
- Supporting clean technologies through Ontario's Next Generation of
- Ontario Ministry of Energy
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MAKING ONTARIO GREENER ONE INNOVATION AT A TIMEThe McGuinty government has made innovation a priority. In fact, it is
part of the government's five-point plan on the economy.
The government has also made the environment and clean technologies an
area of focus. Both are a central part of the recently announced Next
Generation of Jobs Fund
Ontario's Innovation Demonstration Fund (IDF)
(http://www.mri.gov.on.ca/english/programs/idf/guidelines.asp) supports both
of these critical priorities. It provides funding to companies to help them
demonstrate and commercialize an emerging bio-based, environmental or
alternative energy technology. The aim is to help accelerate the movement of
these technologies into the marketplace.
Interest in these kinds of clean technologies is exploding. According to
the Cleantech Network
capitalists invested $3.5 billion in cleantech companies in North America and
Europe in 2006, a 45 per cent increase over 2005.
Demonstrating and piloting these technologies in Ontario plays a vital
role in ensuring the province can capture a leading share of this growing
market. These projects give companies the opportunity to prove an emerging
technology can be effective, a critical step in attracting lead customers and
Through IDF, Ontario is investing $30 million over four years in these
innovative initiatives. To date, the Fund has already invested in:- Plasco Energy Group - Turning Waste Into Clean Energy
IDF invested $4 million to support a demonstration plant in Ottawa,
with plant operation by Plasco Energy Group. The plant will operate
for two years at the city's Trail Road landfill and divert 85 tonnes
of waste per day. Using Plasco's patented plasma gasification
technology, the plant will break the waste down with no emissions,
leaving a clean fuel, used to generate clean energy, and an inert,
glass-like solid. About 20 per cent of the electricity generated will
power the plant; the rest will be sold to the Ontario electricity
- The Woodbridge Group: BioFoam
Ontario has invested $1 million to support the research and
commercialization of soy-based polyol in polyurethane automotive
products. The project will help commercialize the use of polyols - a
key ingredient in the production of the polyurethane material used in
automotive seats and interior pieces - produced from renewable soy
oil. Currently, these materials are made using polyols derived from
non-renewable petroleum. The project will be led by the Woodbridge
Group, a leading supplier of automotive urethane technologies, who
will bring the product to market.
- GreenCore Composites: Green Inside
Ontario has invested $400,000 to Greencore Composites to set up a
demonstration plant in Mississauga for the production of its Green
Inside material - a high-performance natural fiber reinforced
composite. By replacing petroleum-based materials with sustainable
natural fibers, Greencore's Green Inside composite offers
environmental benefits while more than doubling the strength of the
base synthetic material. Greencore is working to commercialize the
material for use in Ontario's auto sector.
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For further information: Sandra Watts, Minister's Office, (416)
314-7067; Perry Blocher, MRI Communications Branch, (416) 326-7717