Investing in Green Energy
We’re Investing in Tomorrow’s Energy, Today.
People who follow Enbridge know that we're a leader in renewable and alternative energy. As of March 2013, we had interests in 13 wind projects, four solar farms, a geothermal installation and waste heat recovery stations.
Together these projects have the capacity to generate over 1,800 megawatts of clean electricity, or enough to meet the needs of about 600,000 homes. We’ve already invested more than $3 billion in these technologies—three quarters of this amount just in the last several years—and we plan to continue this level of investment in the years to come.
Enbridge is now the largest solar energy generator and the second largest wind generator in Canada.
But did you ever wonder why an energy transportation and distribution company such as Enbridge is so heavily invested in renewable and alternative energy technologies?
“Although fossil fuels will continue to represent the major source of energy for our economies for some time, there is little doubt that we are transitioning to a lower carbon-intensive footprint,” said Al Monaco, President and CEO.
“A few years ago,” he continued, “we set forth a strategy to establish a new green energy platform and we’re pleased with our progress so far. The strategy is consistent with our objectives to provide clean sources of energy and to diversify our sources of earnings growth. As well, our renewable investments fit very well with our existing business model that focuses on generating solid returns with stable and growing cash flows. “
For these reasons, Enbridge invests in renewable energy projects that provide attractive returns to investors along with environmental benefits, while exploring other alternative energy prospects.
Enbridge’s investments in renewable energy are also a key component of our commitment to stabilize our environmental footprint at January 2009 levels. This commitment, which forms the basis of our Neutral Footprint program, states that we will:
- plant a tree for every tree we remove to build our projects,
- conserve an acre of natural habitat for every acre we permanently impact,
- generate a kilowatt of renewable power for every kilowatt we use in our pipeline operations.
Enbridge’s move into renewable energy originated in our Alternative & Emerging Technology department. This department, which is led by Chuck Szmurlo, Vice President, Alternative & Emerging Technology, consists of seven individuals who search the world for new technologies that are strategically aligned with Enbridge’s business interests.
One of the department’s members, Richard Luhning, Manager, Pathfinders, thoroughly screens the best of the ideas to ensure that they are technically sound. If he determines that a particular idea is, in fact, technically sound, then Rocco Vita, Director, Alternative & Emerging Technology, and his team try to find a way to commercially structure the investment in a way that makes sense for Enbridge.
Once Enbridge’s investment in a particular technology reaches a significant size, the group turns it over to one of Enbridge’s business units to grow and operate it as a new business platform.
“Through this process, we’ve had the opportunity to try out a lot of ideas and learn some lessons that we can apply as we progress,” said Szmurlo. “We’ve had the good fortune to have seen two of our technologies—wind and solar energy—move from the incubation stage to the point where they have become meaningful and profitable new businesses for Enbridge, and we hope to add more green platforms to our portfolio. Because these technologies benefit both the environment and our shareholders, that’s a great feeling.”
Located on the northern shore of Lake Superior, the 99-megawatt (MW) Greenwich Windfarm will generate enough clean electricity to meet the needs of about 34,000 households, displacing about 107,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions annually. It is the first wind power facility to be wholly located on Crown land in Ontario.
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