JOHN SPEARS BUSINESS REPORTER Toronto Star
Toronto Hydro is hunting for sites around the city where it can install solar and wind-powered electricity generators, says chief executive Anthony Haines.
That could even mean building wind turbines in schoolyards, he told the Toronto Star editorial board.
Toronto Hydro is committed to installing 500 megawatts of renewable generation, as well as reducing demand by 500 megawatts through conservation.
“To achieve 500 megawatts every stone is going to get turned over to see what’s in the range of possibility,” Haines told the Star’s editorial board Wednesday.
The new Portlands Energy Centre on the waterfront generates 550 megawatts or about enough energy to supply a city the size of Windsor.
“Responsibly we should look at everything, and the impacts and the cost and the risks,’ Haines said.
“I can tell you that in the plan that we filed, there are both on-shore and off-shore wind considered in it.”
Just this week, Toronto Hydro has towed a platform into Lake Ontario off the Scarborough Bluffs where it will install a device to measure wind speeds.
If there’s enough wind, the utility could install up to 60 turbines on the lake bed.
Asked what on-shore sites Toronto Hydro is looking at, Haines said: “This is dreaming, but maybe things like wind projects in schoolyards, where they can become part of the education program in conjunction with a solar roof and a wind turbine,”
“If there’s appropriate economics there those are certainly in the range of the doable.”
Impact on local communities would be part of any decision, he said.
The Scarborough off-shore wind development has aroused strong opposition in parts of the community.
“It’s a funny world we live in where (electricity’s) an essential service that nobody wants,” he said. “Nobody wants the infrastructure necessary to get electricity to the plug, but everyone wants the electricity in the plug.
“I’m hoping that over time, there’ll be the experiences of people brought on that will calm the concerns of the community.”
Toronto Hydro is also searching for sites that would be suitable for solar-powered, or photo-voltaic generation. Flat rooftops are natural candidates.
“There’s lots of municipal properties we have on the list that we’re having a look at — TTC properties, for example,” he said.
Toronto Hydro also has plans to generate 10 megawatts of power using gas from the sewage treatment plant at Ashbridge’s Bay, and 8 megawatts from gas produced by the Green Lane landfill near St. Thomas