Looking for sustainable community champions

A collaborative approach to energy generation will help Island communities take the lead on how they fuel their homes and businesses. 

Building on lessons learned from sustainable energy models in Samso Island and in Gottingen, Germany, government is now looking for community champions to develop a local approach to sustainable community energy generation. 

“We want to help Islanders establish innovative community-led and community-based energy generation models. Participating communities will directly benefit through energy independence, local economic development, and long-term savings on their energy bills.” 

- Transportation, Infrastructure and Energy Minister Steven Myers

Samso is a carbon-neutral island in Denmark. They produce more energy than they use. Samso has reduced their heating costs by 40 per cent and created local energy businesses that don’t rely on imported oil. 

In Samso, they have four district heating plants, burning straw or waste wood and using solar or wind power. They buy the straw from local farmers at above market prices.  The heat from straw goes to heat homes for a much lower price than burning fossil fuels. The waste from their district heating plant goes to fertilize crops to complete the sustainable cycle.

In Gottingen, Germany, government representatives toured a co-generation power plant that produces electricity and district heat from corn, to fuel two villages. This is one of 9,000 such plants in Germany.  Representatives also visited HAWK University, where scientists are researching ways to turn waste into power through highly efficient district heating systems – making district heating technology more viable than ever.

“We need to hear from Islanders on how they want to make community energy generation a reality in their towns, villages and neighborhoods,” said Minister Myers. “Communities will have direct involvement - and direct benefit - from the sustainable infrastructure that will power their homes, businesses and community centres for decades to come.”

More information on sustainable communities, including the request for expressions of interest, is available at Sustainable Communities Initiative

In the coming weeks, there will be community information sessions across the province to begin the dialogue on how communities make energy generation work for them. 

Media contact:
Katie MacDonald
Department of Transportation, Infrastructure and Energy

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