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Green-energy program to help educate Manitoulin communities

ReThink Green developing structured support for energy projects

A Sudbury-based sustainable living organization will help educate communities on Manitoulin Island about green-energy projects.

ReThink Green will use $96,000 in funding from the Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) for “projects that provide education, build capacity and develop the skills of municipalities, First Nation and Métis communities,” according to an Oct. 17 news release.

The programming is an extension of Smart Green Communities, which began as a pilot program in 2017.

“We developed the Smart Green Communities program structure in response to the distinct needs of small and medium municipalities in the region,” said Raili Lakanen, manager of the Smart Green Communities program, in the release.

“Our office may be based in Sudbury, but we are focused on supporting the transition to a sustainable and resilient future across all of Northeastern Ontario.”

Manitoulin Island is located along the north shore of Lake Huron, along Highway 17, about 90 minutes southwest of Sudbury.

A program coordinator will liaise with Manitoulin communities over the come months to gauge interest in their participation.

Smart Green Communities began as part of reThink Green’s target-based sustainability program for businesses, Green Economy North. Members have access to free training events on climate change, and the program offers support on reporting energy use and greenhouse gas emissions, and developing coordinated structures for energy planning. It has since helped regional municipalities identify money-saving projects to reduce their energy consumption at public facilities.