OPA extends 40-year contract to Delhi power generator
Tony Bouk, left, and his father Michael are the brains behind Green Bug Energy and its application of the Archimedes screw to hydro generation. (MONTE SONNENBERG Simcoe Reformer)
A Delhi company has become a player in Ontario’s market for renewable energy.
Last week, the Ontario Power Authority offered Green Bug Energy a 40-year contract to supply renewable electricity to the provincial grid.
Green Bug will do so in partnership with Norfolk County with a unique installation at the Quance Dam in Delhi. At the heart of the dynamo is an Archimedes screw about three metres in diameter. The 60-kilowatt facility will generate enough electricity to supply 39 households.
This is the second project of its kind for Green Bug and the first in North America to generate electricity for general distribution. Green Bug CEO Tony Bouk said the OPA approval is a harbinger of bigger things to come.
“This is probably the first of many,” he said. “Norfolk has really stepped up to the plate, which is good to see. There are a number of these coming down the line, and some of them are big ones.”
Green Bug has demonstrated the viability of the technology with a seven-kilowatt installation on Nanticoke Creek at Fletcher’s Horse World in Townsend Centre. The first generator of its kind in North America, it has been operating without complications for more than a year.
The OPA contract will pay 14.8 cents per kilowatt hour. Annual gross revenue will be in the range of $60,000. The generating facility will cost about $482,000 to install.
The county has assumed a 15% share in the project, both as owner of the Quance property and in order to promote this made-in-Norfolk technology. The county’s contribution to construction will be $24,000.
In a news release, Mayor Dennis Travale hailed the OPA approval as “an important milestone that recognizes the significance of producing energy in Norfolk County.”
“Green Bug and county staff have contributed much time and effort to make this project a reality,” Travale said. “I’m proud to be the mayor of a community that has the first-ever partnership in Ontario of this caliber. I look forward to more energy projects such as this in the future.”
Windham Coun. Jim Oliver, a member of Norfolk’s energy conservation committee, added “this project will provide a great demonstration of green energy technology developed by a local Norfolk business that has huge potential across Ontario and beyond.”
Greek mathematician Archimedes invented the auger-like screw at the heart of Green Bug generators around 200 B.C. It was designed to elevate water for irrigation purposes. This same design generates electricity when water flows through it on a descending incline.
Green Bug continues to analyze flow data from Big Creek in the area behind the Ontario Tobacco & Heritage Museum. OPA has certified the company for 60 kilowatts but the project may be slightly smaller to account for available water. Construction will begin next summer.
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