Council notes: energy facilities looking to expand, exotic animal by-law to come back Jan. 31

Greater Napanee council meets within the town hall chambers.

Adam Prudhomme

A pair of energy suppliers are looking to expand on facilities they already have within the Town of Greater Napanee.

Representatives from BluEarth Renewables and Atura Power made separate deputations to Greater Napanee council during the Jan. 10 meeting, each seeking to build a facility capable of storing energy. In both cases council voted to note and receive while requesting the applicants submit concepts to town staff, which in turn will put together a presentation for the Jan. 31 meeting. Council is expected to vote on whether or not to support the projects in principle at that time.

“The Ontario Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) has announced a fairly extensive new power call for new capacity based power generation projects,” Matthew Allen, speaking on behalf of BluEarth, told council, explaining the sudden interest of expanding within the town. “They’re seeking about 4,000 megawatts of new capacity by 2027, 2,500 of that being allocated to energy storage and about 1,200 to new natural gas fire generation. This is to meet the continued growth of Ontario, the continued reliability of the electricity system here in the province and we are here tonight in response to the power call by the Ontario Independent Electricity System Operator.”

BluEarth currently operates a solar project within the town known as Little Creek Solar. Their proposal would see them build on that current site.

“It’s located 10 km from the town centre of Napanee,” said Daryl Scheerer of BluEarth. “We’ve co-located this with our solar facility called Little Creek Solar. We’re proposing a 50-megawatt facility that can store energy for up to four hours using battery storage technology of lithium iron phosphate. We’re proposing to put this project forward in the IESO’s expedited process RFP in planning to have a project that can be commercially ready by May 2026.”

Atura Power, which operates the Napanee Generating Station located on the shores overlooking Lake Ontario, is also seeking to expand on their existing site, requesting support to build a 500-megawatt battery storage facility.

The IESO has set a deadline of Feb. 16 for proposals, with the results of the procurement to be announced in May of this year. Support from the municipality would be a huge boost in helping the companies secure the green light for their project from the IESO.

Should council decide to support any of the projects at their next meeting, it wouldn’t mean that the projects were a lock. In both cases the projects would be subject to several planning studies and reviews before ultimately being approved and shovels dug into the ground.

In both cases mayor Terry Richardson noted they seemed like ‘worthwhile’ projects, but council would need more information before making their decision.

-Also expected to come to back to the table is a draft of the Town of Greater Napanee’s exotic animal by-law. The list of animals to be prohibited under the by-law is expected to be updated following public input received by the town.

The by-law will regulate the ownership of ‘dangerous animals’ that are deemed to be potentially harmful to humans that require specifically designed enclosures to ensure safekeeping.

The town has been without an exotic animal by-law since 2015.

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