Grand Opening

It’s been a busy time. On Saturday, we held the Grand Opening for the new wind turbines.

I guess I had been too worried about having too many people come. We actually has some leftover food. I saw some sandwich trays heading home to some starving students with STEP . I was glad they came. At the last opening, we almost had too many people. So I was stingier with the invitations this time. There was no advertisement in the Peninsula Press. I used email and word of mouth. And we still had about 150 people.

BPEG did a remarkable job of decorating the hall. The Lioness had fantastic food. The Rotary Club offered their usual hospitality.

My nephew Zafer cut the ribbon, and appropriately, the ribbon was held by Ryan Matheson who cut the ribbon for the first turbine, and his friend Will.

Mayor McIver was there. Three of the municipal councillors were there. The Member of Provincial Parliament, Bill Murdoch was there. And it was great to have the dignataries. Bill noted that the wind turbines certainly weren’t loud, and that we should use our natural resource – the wind. And he couldn’t see what the fuss was about with noise in the papers. Good for Bill. Hearing is believing.

Shane Jolley was the Master of Ceremonies. He is a noted local environmentalist, and a candidate for the Green Party in the last election. And he qualifies as a dignitary. I was honoured to have him attend.

A few gifts of Pottery By Ben were given to Stacy from Select Power, Jason Van Geel from Carlsun Energy Solutions, Jens Lohmueller from Credit Union Central of Ontario, and Tom Heintzman from Bullfrog Power. The new turbines would not have been built without the important contributions of each of these organizations. The food table had a remarkable peice of pottery by Black Dog Studios called “Frog Pond”.
But the crowd was what impressed me the most. In my talk, I mentioned Kyoto, and how esential it was that we achieve the targets. The audience applauded. Climate change is clearly a priority issue with the people.
This small project of 3 turbines almost hits Kyoto for the Peninsula. Ontario’s coal and gas plants are responsible for about 20% of Ontario carbon dioxide emissions. And the Ferndale wind farm supplies about 25% of the power used on the Peninsula. So that means that this small project has reduced emissions on the Peninsula by about 5%. Interestingly, the Kyoto target for Canada is 6% reductions.

Who says we can’t meet Kyoto? The Peninsula is almost there.

The most moving speech was by Tom Heintzman, President of Bullfrog Power. Bullfrog Power is the firm that provided my company with a contract to buy power, that was essential to obtaining financing to complete the expansion. Bullfrog Power customers are an important engine driving renewable energy in Ontario. He brought his one year old son to the opening, and I suspect he has not had his son with him on many of his business trips. As he drove up to Ferndale, he passed the Shelburne wind project, and of course the Ferndale project too. And it occured to him that his young son will consider harnessing renewable energy as a birthright.

Tom is right.

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