Bâtir un potentiel énergétique renouvelable axé sur la collectivité

Ici même au Nouveau-
Brunswick, nous possédons l'expertise nécessaire pour le développement de l'énergie éolienne.

EOS Eco-Energy est une organisation qui a été créée dans le but de s'assurer que la région de Tantramar et les régions environnantes deviennent un modèle pour la conservation de l'énergie et la production d'énergie à partir de sources renouvelables.

RenewCo-op a été créée en partenariat avec EOS Eco-Energy pour mener les activités de développement requises pour générer de l'énergie renouvelable. 

Ces 2 organisations travailleront ensemble et se soutiendront mutuellement afin de conserver l'accès aux ressources entre les mains des gens qui vivent ici.

Building Community Focused
Renewable Energy Capacity

David Belliveau,
Director of RenewCo-op & EOS Eco-Energy
August 2004

There's something going on in Southeast New Brunswick. The tingle's in the air. They're setting up offices in Halifax, Sackville, and Fredericton. They're sending their reps from Ottawa, Toronto, Calgary, California, and Texas. They're hiring real estate agents; they're meeting with the MPs, MLAs, Town Councils, and community environmental groups. They're hiring self-proclaimed experts in the field to make maps, take measurements, assess the resource, examine the red tape, push through the morass of bureaucracy so they can exploit the riches of New Brunswickers, once again.

Small wind turbine built by Hervé Richard, Memramcook, NB that is currently undergoing improvements for this winter's winds

(photo: David Belliveau)

This time it's not trees, it's not minerals, it's not oil and gas, it's not water, it's not even housing developments or malls. They're in a 21st century style gold rush. But instead of gold, the resource is something that blows through all of our back yards, all of our neighbourhoods, all of our fields and farms.
This newest "gold rush" is to exploit our wind. New Brunswickers are obviously unaware of the value of the wind resource. That's why we need all of these developers and investors from Toronto, Calgary, and Texas to come here and show us how it's done.

They've done it before in other parts of the world; they've designed their own methods, they know what hurdles have to be overcome. They know how to market their ideas to communities. They tell everyone, "Who in their right mind would be against Renewable Energy generated from the wind? Just let us do it for you and you'll see how great things will be!!"

Of course renewable energy from the wind is a noble undertaking. Any type of renewable energy production is great. Retired Westinghouse electrical wizard Hervé Richard, a renewable energy pioneer from Memramcook, put it best years ago when he said, "Let's use the sun, the wind, the rain, the tides, the natural heat of the earth - but let's not use anything up!".

And that's the point. We have the expertise right here in New Brunswick. We have engineers, we have project managers, we have construction firms, we have people who are passionate about generating and using renewable energy. We have landowners, we have financial experts, we have legal experts, we have all the pieces of the puzzle for wind energy development right here in New Brunswick. All we need now is to put the puzzle pieces together.

In Southeast New Brunswick, two intertwined organizations are doing just that. 
EOS Eco-Energy and RenewCo-op.

These two organizations exist because the founders know that all the expertise that's needed to generate electricity from our commonly held renewable resources is right here in our region. Do we need, or do we really want, corporate interests from away to derive the majority of the benefits from harnessing the wind? Do we realize that since the wind blows through all of our back yards, it isn't something that can be owned by a company from Calgary? It can't owned by a developer from Ottawa or Texas. Wind is something that we all have lived with for ages, and now that it's worth something, should we be sending the value of that resource into the pockets of corporate investors that don't live here, have never lived here, and most likely have no intention of ever living here?

 View of the Vestas 90 wind 
turbine from North Cape in PEI

(photo: David Belliveau)

EOS Eco-Energy is an organization that was created to ensure that the Tantramar region and surrounding regions would become a model that is known for energy conservation and energy production from renewable resources. EOS Eco-Energy would join communities together to bring this vision to reality. EOS Eco-Energy would develop a model template for the communities to pave the way for Renewable Energy development. From that model template, the members of EOS Eco-Energy then realized that there's great opportunity for community economic development in the generation of energy from renewable resources. Thus, RenewCo-op was born.

RenewCo-op was created in partnership with EOS Eco-Energy to perform the development activities that are required for renewable energy generation. This co-operative, comprised of community members from Memramcook, Sackville, Fort Folly First Nation, Dorchester, Port Elgin, Baie Verte, and all the villages and local service districts in the region, would ensure that when renewable energy is being developed in the region, it is being done with the blessing of the people of that region.

A corporate developer coming in to exploit our commonly held wind resource can only impose the will of its shareholders on the communities affected. A co-operative comprised of all the community members who wish to join will be carrying out the will of the community. That's the big difference. That's the opportunity. That's the way resource development is kept under control. That's the way the community members can achieve the most benefit from the development of resources in their region.
Wind energy generation requires a great deal of capital to get underway. That's the perceived advantage of corporate wind development companies. They have designed their system to access the capital first and then use that capital to amass access rights to a resource they wish to exploit. RenewCo-op doesn't yet have that capital, but it does have access to the resource that will be harvested. The corporate developers have the capital, but they don't yet have access to the resource.

EOS Eco-Energy and RenewCo-op will work together, supporting each other in keeping as much of the access to the resource in the hands of the people that live here. RenewCo-op will offer investment shares to raise the capital. Renew Co-op may choose the most accommodating developer to partner in the development of the resource, or it may perform all of the development work in-house. In the end, there will be no room for corporate developers who think that they can exploit the wind that runs through all of our back yards without the community deriving the most opportunity from the development.

Tantramar marshes, Sackville, NB

(photo: Mary Ellen Nealis)

Again, EOS Eco-Energy and RenewCo-op are community based and staffed and supported organizations who sincerely want as much renewable energy development and production to happen in the region as possible. But they also want to maximize the opportunities and potential to the citizens of the community with this development in the most responsible manner.  That's a model that we can all be proud of as we move toward a renewable energy future.