Imagine you are producing renewable energy on your home, and your neighbours are too. When you produce extra, you can sell energy to a neighbour. When you need a bit extra, they can sell some to you.
You help power your neighbourhood community centre, hospital and school, and make sure the lights stay on in a blackout.
This is the reality for residents that are part of the Brooklyn microgrid, and it could be the future of energy here in Greater Sudbury as well, if we choose.
Greater Sudbury’s draft Community Energy and Emissions Plan sets out actions to achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.
They include establishing a renewable energy co-operative to support renewable energy efforts, and expanding district energy. These actions touch on the shift to producing and benefitting from energy at a neighbourhood or community scale.
In August 2003, an incident hundreds of kilometres away in Ohio caused blackouts across Ontario and eight U.S. states, affecting 50 million people. One of the benefits of locally produced energy is that it is not disrupted by far away events, which makes it more secure and reliable.
It is also more efficient, because less power is lost during transmission. When locally produced energy is locally owned, the revenue generated benefits the local economy, and choices are made that benefit the community.
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