"It's a step in the right direction."
Yup, we taxpayers will be paying a premium of "$30 per kilowatt hour in addition to the standard price from the Ontario grid" (which is 5 to 5.8 cents/kWh) to power the city hall.
I just don't understand what is happening here! I don't even understand the arithmetic. I guess that's what happens when we have a source of socially acceptable (green) power.
Green power to drive City hall
Mississauga City Hall will be switching to green power in a one-year experiment.
Starting this fall, a private contractor will supply the Civic Centre with power from renewable fuel sources, such as wind, solar, biomass, and small hydro-electric generation.
The City currently purchases all its electricity from the standard Ontario grid that consists almost exclusively of nuclear, coal and oil, hydraulic and natural gas fuel generation.
“We are committed to finding new ways to conserve energy and use green power to improve the environment. We are hoping our purchase of green energy will encourage others to look at using alternate sources,” said Rajan Balchandani, energy manager for the municipality.
But it’s not going to come cheap.
“Buying green power for the Civic Centre is estimated to cost the City $187,000 or 36 per cent more than existing costs for this facility,” said Balchandani.
Shifting to green power at 300 City Centre Dr. would cut greenhouse gas emissions by 4,400 tonnes — the equivalent of taking 975 cars off the road for a year.
“It’s a step in the right direction. I’m pleased to see Wal-Mart and other corporations are also purchasing green electricity,” said Mayor Hazel McCallion.
The three companies that currently offer green electricity in Ontario are Bullfrog Power, Direct Energy, and Oakville Hydro. Balchandani said the City will be issuing a Request for Proposals to these companies within two or three weeks.
Purchasing green power requires no change to the City’s current electricity supply contracts or any special equipment or wiring. The green power supplier simply injects into the electricity grid clean renewable electricity from EcoLogo-certified sources. The facilities will continue to draw power from the grid as they always have and pay electricity bills directly to the utility.
The cost premium to buy green power is $30 per kilowatt hour in addition to the standard price from the Ontario grid. Based on consumption rates, it would cost $86,000 extra for the Central Library and $124,000 for the Living Arts Centre if the initiative is extended to these facilities.
Last year, the City consumed 110,000 megawatt hours of electricity at a cost of $9.9 million.
The alternative purchase pilot is just one of numerous environmental initiatives the City has undertaken, which include running air conditioning at higher temperatures in City buildings in summer heat waves and stopping maintenance activities with gas-powered equipment during smog alerts.
Also in the works is a $300,000 project to install photovoltaic panels on the roof of the Hershey Centre to convert sunlight into electricity. This electricity will be sold to the Ontario grid, generating revenue of approximately $12,500 per year. The project is also expected to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 25,800 kilograms per year for approximately 25 years.