Renewable Energy Projects
The ability of communities not simply to survive, but thrive, is becoming ever more enmeshed with the energy they use. We began to realise the connection of renewable energy to the principles of Sustainable Development even before Incite Planning was founded.
We initially conducted a survey of First Nations to assess their goals, obstacles, and assets regarding renewable-energy projects. It was done on behalf of the Ontario Sustainable Energy Association (OSEA), who were interested in learning about the cultural perspectives and jurisdictional issues for collaboration on such efforts.
After that, we conducted an Environmental Impact Assessment of a 36 MW wind-power project in Huron County, Ontario. As an integral part of the application process, we ranked the proposal based on a detailed examination of the social and ecological implications for the local community.
Once formed, Incite Planning facilitated “Everyday Energy Efficiency” workshops for Mishkeegogamang First Nation and Wabaseemoong Independent Nation. We prepared the presentation materials, visited the communities, and debriefed the Windfall Ecology Centre who sponsored the workshops.
As part of a conference/trade show for municipal leaders, we presented: “Municipal Energy Strategies: Planning and Renewable Energy” in collaboration with the Huron County Planning Department. While working with the sponsor, the Centre for Applied Renewable Energy (CfARE), we provided briefs regarding the implications of Ontario’s Planning/OMB reforms for renewable energy projects. At the same time we acted as a liaison for CfARE with OSEA on First Nation issues. We attended the First Nations Energy Forum held in Mnjikaning First Nation, and prepared briefs concerning the necessity of proper Consultation with First Nations.
In further research (see “Minto”) we have begun to examine the role of energy in decreasing or increasing the ecological footprint of communities. It is becoming more and more apparent that the health of communities and their future economic prospects will be strongly affected by their energy choices.