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New Ontario Sustainable Energy Association Board members represent diversity of sustainable energy sector

Friday, November 14th 2008 10:26:30am

Media Release

New Ontario Sustainable Energy Association Board members represent diversity of sustainable energy sector

TORONTO, November 14, 2008 - Newly elected Board members of the Ontario Sustainable Energy Association represent a wide cross-section of people and communities involved in sustainable energy and committed to a Green Energy Act in Ontario.

"We are very pleased to welcome our new Board. They bring with them not only immense experience and knowledge, but the enthusiasm and optimism that imbues all those who believe renewables to be the solution to global warming, keeping the lights on and the way to revitalize Ontario's economy with thousands of green collar jobs through manufacturing and local ownership," said Kristopher Stevens, executive director of OSEA.

OSEA is a non-profit organization that represents energy cooperatives, farmers, First Nations, businesses, educational institutions, municipalities and individual citizens who are involved in community-owned renewable energy projects. OSEA, along with its allies, launched the campaign for a Green Energy Act earlier this year to establish renewable energy as a top priority and entrench conservation.

New to its board but not to energy issues is Paul McKay, author of the Electric Empire and advisor to a former Ontario energy minister.  Currently McKay, who is from Belleville, is developing a small, community owned hydro project with the Wildside Foundation.

Graham Findlay of Ottawa has worked on hydro electricity dams as an engineer for Ontario Hydro. Ahead of his time, he founded a major wind company, Vector Wind Energy in 2002, which has started wind farms across Canada. He now is an energy consultant working with institutions and First Nations.

Many First Nations see good economic opportunities in renewable energy, as well as a means of protecting the planet for the seventh generation.  William Big Bull, who is currently working with the Walpole Island First Nation to develop a wind project, brings that balance to the board.

Jim Fonger is also looking ahead to the future studying electricity storage in conjunction with the University of Toronto and McMaster University. As well, he heads up Windy Hill Caledon Renewable Energy, a community-based 10 MW wind farm.  He is also involved with a community project to install solar panels on the rooftops of warehouses in Brampton.

Two associate members representing the business sector were also elected to the OSEA board. They include Jan Buijk, vice-president and manager of DDEACE Power Systems that specializes in landfill gas and biogas solutions, and Karim Saleh, president and CEO of Skon Technologies, a community oriented wind power developer based in Markham.

"We feel very strongly that Ontario is on the cusp of a green energy revolution," said Kristopher Stevens. " Our board will be very much involved in shaping Ontario's Green Energy Act to ensure that every Ontarian can be not just a consumer, but a conserver and generator of clean, green energy."

World renowned energy expert, Paul Gipe from California, who conducted a wind workshop as part of OSEA's annual general meeting, also sees OSEA taking a leadership position in promoting renewable energy.

"I am really excited to see this organization taking on such a significant role in persuading the province to make sustainable energy a top priority," he said.

Kathleen Law, an elected Representaive in the Michigan State Assembly, spoke at the OSEA Annual General Meeting. She gave high praise to OSEA and paid tribute to Stevens for the significant role he is playing in advancing sustainable energy in Ontario.  She noted this leadership is not going unnoticed in the rest of North America.

Law also warned that if Ontario is not up to the task of creating a green energy economy, Michigan with its failing automotive industry will be more than happy to take the green collar jobs.

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For more information, contact:

Jane Story, Policy and Communications Manager
416-977-4441 OR jane@ontario-sea.org


OSEA
works to initiate, facilitate and support the work of local sustainable energy organizations through membership services, province wide capacity building and non-partisan policy work. They work to catalyze the efforts of community organizers and raise awareness of the benefits of community power and renewable energy through various communication channels and by offering a variety of workshops and guidebooks on topics.