Chatham-Kent’s economic development department hopped across the border this week, to attend a conference held by the American Wind Energy Association – Windpower 2012.
C-K, along with other communities a part of the Ontario Clean Technology Alliance, took part in the event held in Atlanta, Georgia.
Stuart McFadden, manager of business development for Chatham-Kent’s economic development department says he met with dozens of wind companies throughout the week, as about 900 exhibitors and over 14,000 people came through the conference.
McFadden says he’s encouraged with the results as well.
“We had meetings set up with about 30 companies that were here,” McFadden said. “When I was on the trade show floor I was able to meet 30-35 more that we had recognized might be interested in Chatham-Kent based on the wind turbine activity we have going on at home.”
McFadden said he was focused on targeting repair, maintenance and serving companies for the wind turbines.
“There are companies that just deal with that specifically,” McFadden said. “That’s what I’m trying to hunt out and explain to them, this is how many wind turbines we have in Chatham-Kent. If you’re going to be in Ontario doing the work… why not be in the middle of it all. It’s been received very favourably.”
McFadden says: “It’s one thing to build them, but sometimes I think we forget… you have to inspect them, you have to service them, you have to change the oil, you have to go up and check the blades. There could be a lightning strike… there’s repairs and maintenance that is required afterwards and that is what I’m focused on.”
McFadden added the provinces Green Energy Act states they want 10,700 mega watts of green energy across Ontario by 2018 – 7,500 of that is wind, 2,000 is already in place withwind, 3,600 is already contracted out but is not constructed, and 1,500 mega watts is still up in the air.