Since its early days, Senvion has been supplying its turbines to both utility and community-scale projects. “We pride ourselves in partnering with experienced developers, local experts and communities who share our values of promoting green, affordable energy to save our planet,” says Helmut Herold, CEO North America at Senvion. “In Canada, our latest project, Gunn’s Hill, a windfarm involving both a co-op and a First Nations group, is a great example for this.”
The First Wind Turbines in the County
Gunn’s Hill is the first wind farm in the county. The 18 MW project, equipped with 10 of Senvion’s MM92 turbines is a result of the collaboration between the Oxford Community Energy Co-op (OCEC), the Six Nations of the Grand River and developer Prowind Canada. Once completed and commissioned, Gunn’s Hill will power over 6,000 homes in the county. Shareholders of the co-op will receive annual dividends in the 11 percent range. “We are convinced that only the opportunity for members in the community to directly benefit from renewable energy installations will secure broad social acceptance.”, says Helmut Schneider, President of Prowind Canada Inc. and former CEO of OCEC. “The expected dividend rate is very competitive in todays markets and much better than any retirement savings plan”.
Oxford county: going green
The Gunn’s Hill wind farm is located in Oxford County, in Ontario, Canada. Rich in agricultural resources and home to significant manufacturing industries, Oxford is moving to renewables in order to create local jobs, avoid energy imports, address climate change and capitalize on long-term cost savings. In fact, Gunn’s Hill wind farm fits right in Oxford County’s new sustainability plan to achieve 100% renewable energy by 2050.
Green Energy Doors Open: sharing wind energy enthusiasm with the locals
On September 9th to 11th, 2016, the Ontario Sustainable Energy Association (OSEA) organized a special provincial wide event called Green Energy Doors Open (GEDO). The idea is for various renewable energy projects in Ontario to ‘’open their doors’’ to the public. By doing so, they share their knowledge and show the endless possibilities to fight climate change As education about renewable energies is key, Senvion didn’t hesitate one second to participate in the event.
Although the weather wasn’t very friendly at first, over 45 locals came to the site - including mayors and influencers from surrounding townships. They were able to approach the first turbine, Turbine 01, as close as 100 meters. Representatives of the Oxford Community Energy Co-op as well as Senvion staff were present, including our colleagues from the Kitchener Service Base. The team shared information about operation and maintenance of the turbines and answered technical questions from the visitors. The reception of the project had been positive from the get-go, but after the doors open event, locals were even more impressed and in acceptance of the wind farm. The initiative was a great success for Senvion and its partners.