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WindShare is a for-profit wind power co-operative that was officially launched in February 2002 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. It was created by the non-profit Toronto Renewable Energy Co-operative (TREC) which was incorporated in 1998. TREC continues to exist as a separate non-profit entity.
WindShare's ExPlace wind turbine was erected on December 18, 2002, on the grounds of Exhibition Place, in Toronto. It was the first wind turbine installed in a major North American urban city centre. and the first community-owned wind power project in Ontario.
The 91-metre (299 ft) tall ExPlace wind turbine is co-owned by the WindShare co-operative and Toronto Hydro, and annually adds an average of 1000 MWh of electricity to the city's main power grid.
WindShare and its parent, the Toronto Renewable Energy Cooperative (TREC), have plans for more wind turbines. As of March, 2010 these plans are called "The Lakewind Project." (See below)
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1998 - Toronto Renewable Energy Co-operative (TREC) was incorporated
1999 - TREC received a grant to study three potential sites for an urban wind turbine project in Toronto.
June 30, 1999 - TREC forms ad hoc partnership with Toronto Hydro to build wind turbine(s)
February, 2002 - WindShare co-operative officially launched. (Members of non-profit TREC are asked to also become members of the for-profit WindShare co-operative.)
December 16–18, 2002 - WindShare's ExPlace wind turbine erected
January 23, 2003 - ExPlace turbine began generating electricity
2006 - The government of Ontario introduced a feed-in tariff (renewable energy payments)
February 23, 2009 - Ontario Green Energy Act 2009 introduced in the Ontario legislature
March, 2009 - The government of Ontario revises feed-in tariff
Model: 750 kW, direct drive, Lagerwey Wind model LW 52 wind turbine
Height: Total 91 m (299 ft), or roughly 30 storeys; tower 65 m (213 ft)
Weight: approximately 121,000 kg (266,759 lb)
Rotor diameter: 52 m (171 ft)
Blades: three blades, each 25 m (82 ft) in length
Rotation: maximum approximately 24.5 rpm
Power Output: range of 625 - 650 kilowatts at 12 m/s (871 electrical hp) in winds of 10 knots (19 km/h; 12 mph) to 12 knots (22 km/h; 14 mph)
Cost: approximately CAD$1.8 million (including foundation, interconnect, and erection)
Lakewind Power Co-operative Inc. is a sustainable energy development entity consisting of two Ontario co-operatives: Countryside Energy Co-operative, and TREC-Windshare 2 Co-operative.
The Ontario Power Authority's Feed-In Tariff (FIT) program is now in place as the most generous renewable energy support program in North America (See Green Energy Act 2009, and Ontario Power Authority "Standard Offer Program" (SOP) for Wind Energy Projects ). TREC is moving ahead with ambitious generation development plans. Building on the experience from the WindShare co-operative's Exhibition Place wind turbine project, TREC has submitted a FIT contract application for a 20-megawatt (MW) wind farm project called Lakewind. TREC has incorporated Lakewind Power Co-operative Inc., a for-profit co-operative of Ontarians that will develop and own the project near the village of Bervie, just east of Kincardine, Ontario. The Lakewind project will be the largest co-operatively owned, wind power project in Canada and pending a successful FIT application, is expected to be generating power in the spring of 2012.
If awarded a FIT contract, WindShare hoped to be looking for investors by the summer of 2010.
Ontario's feed-in tariff program
Ontario introduced a feed-in tariff in 2006, and revised it in 2009, which in a draft proposal increases from 42¢/kWh to 80.2¢/kWh for micro-scale (≤10 kW) grid-tied photovoltaic projects. Ontario's FIT program also includes a tariff schedule for larger projects up to and including 10MW solar farms at a reduced rate. (See Ontario Power Authority "Standard Offer Program" (SOP) for Wind Energy Projects and Ontario Power Authority Feed-in Tariff program for renewable energy)