Turning River Currents Into Clean Electricity

    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
sustainable power.
    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 Taylor


    -   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
        Fund (http://www.mri.gov.on.ca/english/programs/idf/guidelines.asp)
    -   Supporting clean technologies through Ontario's Next Generation of
        Jobs Fund

    -   Ontario Ministry of Energy
(http://www.energy.gov.on.ca/index.cfm?fuseaction=renewable.hydro) on
hydroelectric power

                                                      Disponible en français



    The 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
(http://cleantechnetwork.com/index.cfm?pageSRC=MemberServices), venture
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.

                                                      Disponible en français

For further information:

For further information: Sandra Watts, Minister's Office, (416)
314-7067; Perry Blocher, MRI Communications Branch, (416) 326-7717

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