New Utility Division to Encourage Renewable Energy and Create Jobs
Brant County Power, Inc. (Brant Power), has created a new division called Brant Renewable Energy (Brant Renewable) to help the communities it serves take advantage of the benefits of Ontario’s feed-in tariff (FIT) and microFIT programs. The new division will create clean air and renewable energy jobs in the towns of Burford, Paris, and St. George, and the City of Brantford.
Brant Power’s new division will bring the utility and the municipalities into the fold of Ontario’s Green Energy Hub, a coalition of communities dedicated to creating strategies to increase their capacity for solar, wind, and other forms of green power generation.
According to the utility’s CEO, Bruce Noble, Brant Renewable will initially focus on photovoltaic (PV) power. Ontario is well-equipped for solar, as it is home to a number of manufacturers that serve the industry, such as Heliene, Inc. in Sault Saint Marie and Toronto’s Ontario Solar Academy – Canada’s first ISPQ-certified PV training program.
Solar Focus Will Require Trained and Certified PV Workers
According to Ruth Cooper, who consults for the new division, “Brant Renewable Energy will educate, advocate, and facilitate power from renewable sources.” One thing Brant Renewable will “facilitate” is county citizens’ participation in the FIT, which pays high prices to producers of renewable energy who tie into the power grid, and the microFIT, which offers the same for projects of 10 kW and less. The programs contain domestic content requirements that stipulate what percentage of labour and materials a project owner must source from within the province in order to be eligible. These requirements add to the power of the FIT and microFIT by creating jobs in manufacturing and new career opportunities for graduates of solar PV and other renewable energy training and certification programs. Brant Renewable will require workers in both of these sectors in order to meet its green goals.
“Changing ourselves to a green culture should allow us to be more healthy,” says Noble, who adds, “By driving conservation, it allows people to reduce costs.” Together, Brant Renewables, the Green Energy Hub, and the FIT and microFIT programs will move the province into the future of energy production by removing pollution from the air and putting money into Ontarians’ pockets.
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