Raising the Tower!

There's a special pleasure in seeing a smile on a friend’s face, and knowing you had a role in putting it there; so it was seeing Bill Roubos’ reaction to the work on his farm this past week. “I’ve seen lots of these go up”, he says casually, referring to the 65 m turbine tower rising, in five “lifts” over 5 days, on his 180 acre farm near Palmerston. Indeed, as former head of Moorefield Excavating, and owner of Roubos Wind Energy, Bill has been involved in his fair share of wind projects in Ontario, the USA, and Europe. But it’s clear this one is different. For one thing, the Moorefield Wind turbine is (literally) in his back yard. And this wind project - given the challenges of Ontario’s energy regulations – has been some nine years in the making, with Bill overseeing every aspect of the process. This week saw the most visually satisfying step in bringing Bill’s vision to a reality, and his face was a mixture of pride, satisfaction, and at least a touch of exhaustion. “If I knew all that was involved I’m not sure I’d ever have started this,” he says. “But it’s great to finally see this happening.”


John Hogg, of Free Breeze Energy (http://freebreeze.com/Home.html), of Listowel, ON, has been helping Bill with the project since the beginning, and he was on hand throughout the lift. John generously explained to me many of the technical details of the process, and we hope to put together some video clips that will let him tell the story in his own words. Carlsun Energy (http://www.carlsun.com/index.html), of Port Elgin, brought its experienced team to manage all aspects of the lift, from cleaning the parts to guiding them with tie-ropes as they rose around the crane. They worked closely with the crane crew from Mammoet (http://www.mammoet.com/), a global firm with a big shop in Ayr, ON, not far from Kitchener. Though the winds slowed the process, the crew still managed to finish up before the big winds arrived Thursday.

For LIFE Co-op, of course, this is a milestone too. LIFE’s dream of a turbine began in 2006, and our early logos show the vision – “Fostering community investments in sustainable energy to reduce our environmental footprint” – saw a wind turbine as a fitting monument to the vision of sustainability. Our first attempt at a wind project near St Agatha unfortunately did not get off the ground; LIFE reluctantly pulled the plug on it in 2011, and shifted to solar in an adaptation to changes in the FIT Rules.  So it was pretty exciting to be able to help Bill with a new FIT contract, as his FIT 1 contract had terminated before he was able to get the turbine up. The current contract, a FIT 4, is held by Moorefield Wind 1 Inc., a company owned 51:49 by LIFE and Roubos Wind Energy. Although somewhat less lucrative than a FIT 1, this contract should still enable a simple payback of less than 12 years, while the project eliminates over 200 tonnes per year of carbon emissions.

LIFE is enabling its members and investors to have a part of this project through the purchase of Series A.3 investment shares; we are projecting returns to investors in the range of 5% to 5.5%, with dividend payments starting as soon as 2018.

Join us at our Annual General Meeting (https://kitchenerwaterloo.snapd.com/#/events/view/999742), or contact us at invest@lifecoop.ca, to learn more about how (and why) to invest in LIFE!