April 20, 2018
Norwich, ON - Local cooperative, the Oxford Community Energy Cooperative, in partnership with the Six Nations of the Grand River Development Corporation and developer Prowind Inc., have announced the recipient of the annual Gunn’s Hill Community Fund, the Hodges Pond Re-Naturalization Project.
The Gunn’s Hill Limited Partnership (“Gunn’s Hill LP”) is a partnership between the Oxford Community Energy Cooperative (“OCEC”), the Six Nations of the Grand River Development Corporation (“SNGRDC”), and Prowind Inc. (“Prowind”). The Gunn’s Hill LP is the owner and operator of the Gunn’s Hill Wind Farm located in Norwich, Ontario. The 18 MW wind farm completed its first full year of operation in November 2017 and continues to successfully generate enough energy to power 6,700 homes in Oxford County.
As a reflection of the Gunn’s Hill LP’s commitment to the community, the Gunn’s Hill LP created an annual Community Fund of $25,000 that would be awarded to a local project that best represents the values of the Gunn’s Hill Wind Farm, while ensuring positive benefits are received within the community.
Hodges Pond is an old mill pond located on Old Stage Road, near Highway 59 in Norwich, ON. The work on this site has been ongoing for the past fourteen years but has recently gained momentum through partnerships with the Upper Thames River Conservation Authority, Ducks Unlimited, Stewardship Oxford, Oxford County Trails Committee, and the County of Oxford. Together, along with the Gunn’s Hill LP, this project is ready to take its next leap forward.
“The success of the Gunn’s Hill Wind Farm truly represents the accomplishments of the Gunn’s Hill LP partners and the local community,” says Prowind CEO, Frank Mascia. “At Prowind, we are proud to work with passionate community leaders to continue supporting projects that will create opportunities for growth and recreation in Oxford County through the Gunn’s Hill Wind Farm Community Fund.”
Since 2001, the Upper Thames River Conservation Authority has ranked the water quality that flows from Hodges Pond into Cedar Creek in the lowest grade level. The first phase of re-naturalization was to re-establish the former cold-water stream. After years of engineering and environmental consultation, it was decided by the Upper Thames River Conservation Authority that the most cost effective and timely option was to create a man-made bypass channel connecting Hodges Pond back to Cedar Creek. Work on this bypass channel started in 2017 and by the fall of that year, water was flowing freely into Cedar Creek for the first time in over 150 years.
This is a celebrated accomplishment for all residents of Oxford County, the revitalization of this ecosystem and water way will greatly impact the water quality within the County, as well as offer an excellent outdoor space for all residents to enjoy. The Gunn’s Hill Community Fund will be used to support trail development, bird nesting habitats and experiential learning opportunities.
The Gunn’s Hill LP is excited to be a part of this innovative project and plans to host public events for residents to participate in the restoration of the area through tree planting and habitat building, while also encouraging people to enjoy the natural space.
“As a partner we are thrilled to be able to host these community events and to invite our members and investors to participate,” expressed OCEC Executive Director, Miranda Fuller, “as a local cooperative we are passionate about being a leader in our community and support projects that benefit not just the residents of Oxford but the global community as well.”
This year the Gunn’s Hill Wind Farm produced an impressive 62,890,000 kWh and avoided 2,754 tonnes of CO2 emissions through clean energy generation. This is equivalent to 126,503 mature trees planted or 599 cars removed from the road. This Earth Day, we are celebrating the great accomplishments that we are all doing collectively to improve our environment and quality of life.
Matt Jamieson, President and CEO of the Six Nations of the Grand River Development Corporation says, “Hodges Pond is a project that the Six Nations of the Grand River Development Corporation is proud to support. It provides regeneration that is vital to the regional eco-system, as well as developing a natural landscape feature for surrounding communities to enjoy. We look forward to continuing our work with the Community Fund for years to come.”
About the Oxford Community Energy Co-operative: The Oxford Community Energy Co-operative Inc. is a renewable energy co-op based in Oxford County with its office located in Woodstock, Ontario. OCEC was developed to bring renewable energy investment opportunities to the residents of Oxford County. The local community currently owns 49% of the Gunn’s Hill Wind Farm project and OCEC has recently opened this solar investment opportunity to its members. OCEC present membership is over 200 and they are striving to bring locally produced energy to the local community.
For more information, please visit www.oxford-cec.ca
Media Contact Information
Miranda Fuller, Executive Director
Oxford Community Energy Co-op
About Prowind Inc.: Prowind Inc. is a renewable energy developer and operator located in Ontario, Canada. Prowind provides the development, financing, permitting, design, and operation of renewable energy projects using wind, solar, and biomass technologies throughout the Americas. We strive to provide financial security and environmental sustainability through the development of locally-owned clean energy projects in partnership with community groups, local businesses, municipalities, and indigenous communities.
For more information, please visit www.prowind.com
Media Contact Information
Heather Shilton, Manager of Marketing & Communications
About Six Nations of the Grand River Development Corporation: Six Nations of the Grand River Development Corporation (SNGRDC) manages Six Nations’ economic interests in many renewable energy projects and economic development opportunities, on and around the Six Nations territory. Environmental sustainability is priority for SNGRDC as we continue to pursue meaningful green energy partnerships in Southern Ontario.
For more information, please visit www.sndevcorp.ca
Media Contact Information
Tyler Ferguson, Acting Director of Corporate Affairs
Six Nations of the Grand River Development Corporation