PORT ELGIN, ON, March 25, 2013 /CNW/ - A CAW owned and operated wind turbine started operating today generating clean wind energy to the electrical grid in Port Elgin, Ontario.
"This is an important day as the start-up of this wind turbine marks an environmental milestone for our union - this is the first union owned and operated wind turbine in Canada," said CAW President Ken Lewenza. The start of the turbine comes after nine years of planning, preparation, construction and testing.
"This green energy wind turbine will generate enough power to offset 350 tons of greenhouse gas emissions each year and demonstrates the CAW's commitment to promoting and developing alternate sources of renewable energy," Lewenza said.
The CAW has erected the wind turbine on the grounds of its Family Education Centre in Port Elgin, Ontario. It will generate the equivalent of 50-60 per cent of the FEC's current energy needs.
The CAW's commitment to environmental sustainability is enshrined in the CAW's Statement of Principles and reflects the union's concern about serious global challenges such as climate change, preserving the natural environment and advocating for clean, renewable power generation to meet future energy needs.
"Our planet faces an environmental crisis of major proportions, one which could challenge our very survival," Lewenza said.
"Unions around the world are striving to address this crisis, while protecting the welfare of working men and women. The CAW is also committed to this task. On behalf of our members, we advocate for a healthier environment on many fronts; in the workplace, at the bargaining table, in the community and through political activism. Our wind turbine serves as a symbol of environmental sustainability for generations to come," he said.
CAW is setting a great example with this new wind turbine, said Communications, Energy and Paperworkers' Union President Dave Coles. "While governments drag their feet on strategies for the use of renewable resources, unions are leading the way."
Coles noted that CEP has been calling for a national energy strategy for years - one that includes a stable and sustainable energy supply for Canadians.
The Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment (CAPE) congratulated the CAW on the launch of the wind turbine.
"Supporting the renewable energy sector brings us one step closer to ending our reliance on polluting coal plants," said Gideon Forman Executive Director of CAPE. "By investing in clean, safe, renewable energy, the CAW is also investing in the health of Ontarians. Thanks to their leadership, we will all be able to breathe cleaner air."
The CAW has demonstrated real leadership with the development of their first windmill, said Kristopher Stevens, executive director of the Ontario Sustainable Energy Association.
"Projects like this are a beacon for other local groups across Ontario seeking to create good jobs, resilient communities and healthy environments by tapping into sustainable energy solutions," Stevens said.
To find out more about the CAW wind turbine please visit www.caw.ca/cleanwindenergy
SOURCE: Canadian Auto Workers Union (CAW)
For further information:
Ken Bondy, CAW national co-ordinator, 416-495-3792 or CAW Communications, 416-495-3771.