January 26, 2006
Media Release

York Region investigates energy self sufficiency through wind energy

Region to launch 12-month wind monitoring project in Sutton
NEWMARKET – In a continuing effort to help offset the electrical demands at Regional facilities and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, the Regional Municipality of York today approved a 12-month project to monitor wind energy at the Sutton Water Pollution Control Plant (WPCP).  The project will provide valuable information toward the development of a business case on constructing a wind energy project.
In 2004, Hydro One indicated that the demand for electricity in York Region would soon outgrow the existing system capabilities, potentially resulting in intermittent blackouts by 2007.  As a result, York Region – a large user of energy in the Region, completed a wind energy pre-feasibility study to examine the wind resource quality, land use designations, constraints, and other factors to determine the viability of a wind energy project. 
In these studies, the Sutton WPCP was identified as the most promising site for the project due to its location, proximity to residential areas and is permitted for wind energy under Ontario’s Greenbelt Plan. 
“York Region remains committed to energy reduction,” said York Regional Chair and CEO Bill Fisch.  “A wind power project in York Region would translate into improved air quality, a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, greater stability of the electrical grid and a savings for York Region taxpayers.”
Wind energy provides a wide range of economic, environmental and social benefits, including improved air quality, increased distributed power generation resulting in improved system reliability, stability and reduced line losses, increased rural capacity to attract new manufacturing and skilled jobs, greater public awareness and acceptance of renewable energy and hedges against rising energy costs.
“We are very excited by the results of the wind energy initiative thus far,” said Tim Jones, Town of Aurora Mayor and Chair of the Region’s Finance and Administration Committee.  “The purpose of this project is to look at ways we can utilize wind energy to offset the electricity use at Regional facilities and reduce our dependence on the electricity grid.”
The wind energy pre-feasibility study totalled $58,650 and the Wind Monitoring Station approved by Regional Council today is estimated to cost $55,000, with an opportunity of leveraging 50 per cent of both amounts through the Federation of Canadian Municipalities.
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For more information on the Regional Municipality of York and the services our Region offers, please visit our Web site at: www.york.ca
Media Contact: Tracy Atkins, Corporate Communications, York Region
 Phone:  (905) 830-4444, ext. 1236 Email: tracy.atkins@york.ca
After hours media queries: Pager (905) 830-3302

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