Council approves alternative energy prospects | Elliot Lake Standard – Elliot Lake Standard

September 23, 2016 Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Google+ Uncategorized

At the Sept. 12 council meeting, the city agreed to enter into a sustainable energy development agreement with Pele Mountain Resources.

The agreement was brought to council by the economic development committee, which put together their resolution No. 45/16 at their Sept. 8 meeting.

“This is an agreement that took some time to negotiate,” said Councillor Scot Reinhardt.

“We were approached by Pele Mountain Resources to do an energy program in town, under a FIT 5 program, which through the course of approval, it’s been required that Pele Mountain shift to a different type of energy program,” Reinhardt added.

The FIT program refers to the Feed-In Tariff Program, which was developed to promote and encourage greater use of renewable energy sources in Ontario.

The FIT Program is open to projects with a rated electricity generating capacity greater than 10 kilowatts and up to 500 kilowatts. However, application can be made for projects more than 500 kilowatts.

The agreement allows Pele Mountain “to look at other types of energy programs for the city,” Reinhardt said.

“This agreement basically says that they would like to look at projects. They’ve asked the city for the exclusive rights (up to May, 2018)to develop energy projects on municipal lands. And that any projects they would bring forward would come back to council for our approval,” Reinhardt added.

Al Shefsky, of Pele Mountain Resources, told council “The agreement basically authorizes Pele to go out and do some work to screen the city lands for potential to develop projects.

“We brought together a team that includes 10 technical experts and financial experts to model these projects, put them together, and bring them back to the city and present them as opportunities for the city to consider to reduce its own electricity costs, which are considerable at some of the facilities, and generate revenue by participating in these projects.”

The agreement reinforces the “possibility to develop a new industry in town that’s focused on energy and energy storage projects.

“Elliot Lake has incredible infrastructure because of the fact that it’s one of Canada’s great historic mining camps. And that infrastructure includes electricity transmission and distribution that is by far overbuilt for what the city is currently using. So, there is available capacity to export energy to the grid or to do a number of other exciting things as technologies improve and costs come down and efficiencies increase.

“There is the potential for renewable projects and for energy storage projects,” Shefsky told council. “But right now, we see an immediate opportunity for projects that will save money on the city’s electricity bill by building out behind the meter generation that can basically offset the much more expensive hydro electricity. It’s a way for the city to reduce its electricity costs and we see no barriers going forward.

“So, we’re going to do the work, and we’re going to come back to the city and present it as a proposal. And hopefully this will be the beginning of a lot of successful projects and a new industry in town,” Shefsky concluded.