Many developed nations across the globe are in the midst of initiatives supporting the broader uses of sustainable energies. The push in Canada is evidenced by headlines recently as the country deliberates over a pan-Canada energy strategy.
It seems clear that Premier Alison Redford, along with other western leaders, favor of a unified platform. In a statement after the Western Premiers Conference last week, a communique stated, "Western premiers want to develop a strategic, forward-thinking plan for sustainable energy management and development that will advance the common goal of ensuring that Canada is a recognized leader in sustainable and secure energy production, supply and transportation, including east-west and northern electricity transmission."
Overall, the nation is making some big strides in eco-friendly energies. Q.CELLS North America, a subsidiary of Q-Cells SE, in partnership with Starwood Energy Group Global, LLC, just completed construction of a 69 megawatt (DC) solar energy project in Ontario. A combination of projects that began in October 2010, the Starwood project is the largest silicon crystalline photovoltaic project in North America and among the largest in the world.
Great Lakes Biodiesel Inc. is in the final stage of construction of Canada's largest biodiesel plant which is slated to open in this coming fall. Located in Welland, Ontario, the plant is approved by the Government of Canada's ecoENERGY Program, having annual production capacity of 170 million liters of biodiesel.
Further west, senior management from ecoTECH Energy Group Inc. (OTCQB:ECTH) were present along with British Columbia Attorney General Shirley Bond, other Canadian cabinet ministers and energy industry leaders, recently at a Jobs, Tourism & Innovation meeting in Blue River, British Columbia. The meeting was in support of the Robson and Thompson Valley's Corridor Jobs Creation Initiative and included discussion of government-backed initiatives designed to expedite progress for industry and tourism in the valleys.
Importantly, Dan Doyle, OBC, Chairman of BC Hydro, a company that provides power in western Canada and into the northwest United States, announced BC Hydro's commitment to the project. According to Doyle, BC Hydro will fund approximately $50 million worth of system upgrades at the pushed-to-capacity Valemount substation that currently provides power to McBride, the planned McBride substation and the microwave control towers that are required for the transmission line to McBride, BC. Snowshoe Power Ltd and Holmes Hydro will be providing run of river power to the new line with ecoTECH providing power and shaping the power with a biomass power station.
In what could prove to be a boon in value to ecoTECH, BC Hydro will be negotiating Electricity Purchasing Agreements with local, clean energy producers, which includes ecoTECH as the only biomass energy provider in the area.
This plan of action is the result of the efforts of the Robson Valley Task Force (formed in 2010 and includes BC Hydro, ecoTECH and others) collaborating with the Ministry of Jobs, Tourism and Innovation and identification that the most cost-effective option for extending the transmission system to McBride is to construct a new 138 kilovolt transmission line from the existing Valemount Substation and build a new substation in the McBride area.
The commitment of BC Hydro and the sanctioning of projects should have a positive impact on the community through jobs creation and the delivery of reliable energy. ecoTECH could also stand to benefit at its McBride Combined Heat and Power Station Project in addition to the $60 million supply contract with the Jim Pattison Group related to its indoor, zero-carbon-footprint Aquaponics facility and 5 MW power station at McBride.
The developments are allotting ecoTECH a unique opportunity to develop a new, stand-alone biomass power station in the range of 30 to 60 MW independent of its 5 MW station to generate energy for any Energy Purchase Agreement with BC Hydro. Generally speaking, projects of this scale could equate to more than $100 million in annual revenue for the ecoTECH coffers at significant net profit margins.
Already in development, the McBride Project is a significant milestone in ecoTECH's business model to build five Combined Heat and Power Stations across North America in the next five to seven years. Thanks to more than two years of diligence and collaborative efforts between forward-thinking pioneers aiming to establish Canada as a world leader in sustainable energies, the inaugural plant is perhaps already developing into even more than was originally expected.
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