FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 12, 2019
PUBLIC-PRIVATE PARTNERSHIP TO YIELD SIGNIFICANT GHG REDUCTIONS FROM ORGANIC WASTE DIVERSION IN GTA EAST
TORONTO, Ontario – Senior officials are gathering to celebrate a newly inked strategic partnership that will make significant Greenhouse Gas (GHG) reductions a reality at the Toronto Zoo. ZooShare, a renewable energy cooperative with over 600 members and Oshawa PUC Energy Services (OPUCES), a municipally-owned sustainable energy corporation have joined forces to complete the final milestone of the Toronto Zoo Biogas Project. This unique collaboration also includes the federal government’s Low Carbon Economy Fund, which will contribute $2.7 million over this phase and a planned expansion of the facility.
The contributions of ZooShare, OPUCES, the Toronto Zoo and the federal government will yield GHG reductions of about 20,000 tonnes of CO2e/ year and offset the equivalent of 1/3 of the Zoo’s electricity demand. “This first-of-its-kind project is symbolic of Canada’s newly emerging green economy, where structurally different organizations interplay in unique ways to generate sustainable bottom lines for all involved” says Ivano Labricciosa, President and CEO at OPUCES. “Our team is proud to bring our expertise in low carbon, distributed energy forward to enable this remarkable initiative”.
This project also shows what is possible when waste is reframed as a valuable resource containing energy and nutrients that can be used to grow more food and continue the cycle. It is a prime example of the circular economy in action. “ZooShare is extremely pleased to have OPUCES as a partner,” says Daniel Bida, Executive Director of ZooShare. “This investment will enable the project to reach commercial operations next year and OPUCES’ expertise will enable it to outperform expectations in the years to come.”
“The Toronto Zoo is committed to energy efficient operations, environmental sustainability, and renewable energy initiatives. From our perspective, the biogas facility is a fine example of community partnerships in action to develop renewable energy,” says Dolf DeJong, Chief Executive Officer, Toronto Zoo. “We are excited that ZooShare has secured a strong project and operational partner in Oshawa PUC Energy Services, effectively making the ZooShare vision a reality.”
ZooShare Biogas Co-operative Inc. is a non-profit renewable energy co-operative with 692 members across Ontario. Its mandate is to partner to develop an innovative zoo-based biogas plant that transforms zoo manure and local food waste into renewable power for the Ontario grid, and a nutrient-rich agricultural fertilizer.
About Oshawa PUC Energy Services
Oshawa PUC Energy Services Inc. is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Oshawa Power and Utilities Corporation. OPUCES partners with proven solution providers to deliver tailored energy solutions and meet the needs of each individual customer, including low carbon distributed generation technologies such as CHP, wind, solar, and biogas. Oshawa PUC Energy Services’ portfolio is expected to have more than 30 projects in operation across the GTHA by the end of 2020.
About the Toronto Zoo
The Toronto Zoo is Canada’s premier zoo and a national leader in saving wildlife to ensure the rich diversity of nature for future generations. More than a tourist attraction, the Toronto Zoo boasts a number of leading programs for helping wildlife and their natural habitats – from species reintroduction to reproductive research. A world-class educational centre for people of all ages, the Toronto Zoo is open every day except December 25 and attracts approximately 1.3 million visitors each year. Toronto Zoo is accredited by CAZA (Canada’s Accredited Zoos and Aquariums) and AZA (Association of Zoos and Aquariums). Look for these logos whenever you visit a Canadian zoo as your assurance that you are supporting a facility dedicated to providing excellent care for animals, a great experience for you, and a better future for all living things. For more information, visit caza.ca and aza.org.
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