The Dryden Observer

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Plans proceed for solar park

Chris Marchand

Chris Marchand served as editor of the Dryden Observer from August 2009 to April 2018.

City to host open house Nov. 10

While there’s been plenty of discussion in the past year, the city of Dryden wants to know what the community thinks about a proposed five mega-watt (MW) green energy project as a measure to diversify the local economy.

The City Of Dryden, Dryden Development Corporation and representatives from Johnson Controls will host an open house for their proposed photo-voltaic park on Saturday, Nov. 10, from 4:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at The Centre.

The project, aimed at taking advantage of recent sustainable energy incentives established by the Ontario Power Authority (OPA), could cost approximately $30 million, though result in a new and dependable revenue stream.

And for the next 20 years, Ontario Power Authority will be paying solar power producers contract rates as high as $0.44 per kilowatt/hour, as compared to $0.13 for wind-generated power, or $0.12 for water-generated power.

Just where those project funds would come from is a matter up for discussion, says Dryden Mayor Anne Krassilowsky.

The city could form a corporation to take on the project itself, enter into a public/private partnership with investors, or simply lease the land and let someone else do it.

At present, the city is looking at accessing development capital through Infrastructure Ontario.

Krassilowsky adds that project costs are not included within the limits that the province has established for municipal debt.

“We all know it’s a very costly venture, but there are rates of return that are to the investor’s benefit,” said Krassilowsky. “Now is the time for the public to come in and understand what the project is and to add their input.”

While numerous properties around Dryden have been explored as potential sites, the most attractive site appears to reside in North Dryden, a block of around 100 acres east of the cemetery and south of Leach Rd.

-Chris Marchand

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