The Town of Cochrane is looking to make hydro cheaper for residents.
Cochrane’s Mayor Peter Politis organized a think-tank session between the Energy Minister, Cochrane Power and several key provincial Ministries in hopes of coming up with a more practical solution to high hydro rates. Politis says the proposed District Energy Plan would be a first for the province. This model would allow Cochrane Power to supply power to the district instead of the provincial grid, ultimately making hydro cheaper.
Right now Northern Ontario Wires buys power from Ontario Hydro, but if they were to buy it from Cochrane Power it would make hydro cheaper for customers in Iroquois Falls, Cochrane and Kapuskasing. Politis says if it works well, other communities will likely follow suit. He feels this move would be a modern and progressive way of providing energy that has many benefits.
On top of providing cheaper power, the proposed District Energy Model could also have significant environmental benefits. The community would be able to take 174,000 tons of wood waste every year that’s sitting in landfills and convert it to renewable, reliable and affordable green energy. Another benefit Politis mentioned was the fact they would be able to provide cheaper food for the region and coastal communities by using excess steam to heat greenhouses.
Politis says they will have another meeting to discuss some of the finer details next week. He adds they are moving aggressively and is hoping to have something in place by next summer.