South Kent Wind project to contribute $11.5 million to support local initiatives in the Municipality of Chatham-Kent
BLENHEIM, ONTARIO, April 23, 2013 – Samsung Renewable Energy Inc. (Samsung) and Pattern Energy Group LP (Pattern) today announced a donation and pledge of $11.5 million dollars to the community of Chatham-Kent as part of The South Kent Wind (SKW) Community Benefits Program. The Program includes an immediate $1.5 million for community-based initiatives and the establishment of The South Kent Wind Community Fund, with an additional $10 million paid into the Fund over the next 20 years to provide a stable source of community funding for the long-term.
Today’s announcement from Samsung and Pattern will help to improve the quality of life for our communities and families. Their intentions are not only in making a difference today but for many years to come,” said Mayor Randy Hope, Mayor of the Municipality of Chatham-Kent. “The sustained economic nsupport from this project will address some of our community’s greatest needs, creating a tremendous positive impact on current and future generations of Chatham-Kent residents.”
“Samsung is proud to be a part of the Chatham-Kent community and is excited our South Kent Wind project will support important local programs now and in the future,” said Yoon-Gyung Boo, Executive Vice President of Samsung C&T Corporation, Samsung Renewable Energy Inc.’s parent company. “Samsung and Pattern remain dedicated to delivering meaningful benefits to Ontario communities where we are building clean, renewable energy projects.”
“Pattern and Samsung are committed to finding ways to provide project benefits for the communities where we operate and we hope these funds will be an opportunity to make a great community even stronger,” said Mike Garland, CEO of Pattern Energy. “We are proud our South Kent Wind project will be able to provide significant contributions to support local community, educational, environmental, health and First Nations and Métis initiatives over the life of the project.”
Today’s donation includes an initial contribution of one million dollars to establish The South Kent Wind Community Fund, which will be administered by The Chatham Kent Community Foundation. Samsung and Pattern’s South Kent Wind project will contribute an additional $500,000 annually to the Community Fund over the next 20 years.
“South Kent Wind’s donation and commitment to The Chatham Kent Community Foundation totaling $11 million dollars marks the largest donation the Foundation has received since it was created in 1990,” said Rob McKinlay, Chair of The Chatham Kent Community Foundation. “This contribution will allow us to expand our charitable giving and continue our history of funding a diversity of projects in the Chatham-Kent community. We are honoured that Samsung and Pattern chose The Chatham Kent Community Foundation to facilitate their long-term philanthropic goals.”
The South Kent Wind Community Fund will support building strong and vibrant communities by funding initiatives in five areas:
– Community: Inspiring local spirit and engagement through community events and projects.
– Environment: Enhancing community action on ecological preservation, restoration, land stewardship and education.
– Health and Wellness: Fostering individual and community health and wellness.
– Youth and Education: Meeting the needs of children and youth development through education, recreation and safety.
– First Nations and Métis: Supporting cultural awareness, the environment, health and wellness, and youth and education.
To kick start The South Kent Wind Community Benefits Program, Samsung and Pattern also announced $500,000 in donations to diverse local initiatives spanning the five priority giving areas.
“We are grateful to the South Kent Wind project for announcing their financial support for community initiatives, including the Talbot Trail Place in Blenheim,” said Jim Sanson of the Blenheim Rotary Club. “Projects like community parks are important to making our communities stronger. They provide venues for families, friends and neighbours to come together and for community events like farmer’s markets and festivals.”
“The Erieau Partnership Association would like to sincerely thank Samsung Renewable Energy, Pattern Energy and the South Kent Wind project for their very generous donation towards the Rondeau Bay Revitalization Project and for their commitment to support environmental causes in Chatham-Kent over the long-term through The South Kent Wind Community Fund,” said Dean Jones of the Erieau Partnership Association. “With this donation the 6-year project to control the non-native invasive species of Eurasian Water Milfoil in Rondeau Bay will see its completion, and the community will be able to complete many other environmental projects with this new, on-going source of local funding.”
“The South Kent Wind Community Fund is creating a new and invaluable funding source for health and wellness initiatives, which are very important for all generations, and in particular will help us meet the intensifying needs of the community due to an above average aging demographic in Chatham-Kent,” said Carolynn Barko, CEO of St. Andrew’s Residence. “The donation to the Meals on Wheels program will help us to expand our services to all corners of the municipality, allowing this important program to meet the needs of many more Chatham-Kent residents.”
“Supporting education is critical for the success and development of our youth and for growing a stronger community,” said Ken McEwan, Campus Director, University of Guelph – Ridgetown. “We are grateful to Samsung and Pattern’s South Kent Wind project for their donation to the University’s new Research and Innovation Centre and for their commitment to support youth and education in the Municipality for the long-term.”
“Samsung and Pattern’s South Kent Wind project is making a difference by appreciating the importance of local Aboriginal initiatives,” said Chief Burton Kewayosh, Walpole Island First Nation. “Today’s donation will help us to preserve the history, culture, and language of local First Nations. Among various initiatives, this donation will allow us to complete a historical ecology study for the Treaty No. 2 territory that will have educational value for the wider Chatham-Kent community. We welcome the opportunity to forge a relationship with new industry in our traditional territory, and we look forward to sustaining that relationship over the long term.”
The South Kent Wind Community Fund will provide funding to qualifying non-profit organizations through a granting process that will be administered by the Chatham Kent Community Foundation. These grants will support capital, operating and one-time costs for facilities, programs and events. Grant applications will be evaluated by a committee of seven members from the Chatham-Kent community and The Chatham Kent Community Foundation with grants being distributed among the five areas of giving. Residents can apply to be on the advisory committee at www.southkentwind.ca.
About South Kent Wind
The South Kent Wind project is a 270-megawatt wind project owned by Samsung Renewable Energy Inc. and Pattern Energy Group LP. Ontario workers and subcontractors will be involved in every aspect of project construction. There will be an average of 300 workers on-site throughout project construction and approximately 500 workers during peak construction periods. South Kent Wind will utilize 124 Ontario-made turbines, including towers from Windsor and blades from Tillsonburg.
Once complete in the spring of 2014, the 270 MW South Kent Wind project will inject more than $7 million in direct spending into the local economy each year of project operations, including approximately $800,000 in annual tax revenue for the municipality and schools. The project will generate renewable energy equal to the needs of approximately 100,000 homes each year, allowing Ontario to continue to move away from its dependence on coal-fired energy production. Compared to coal-fired generation, the project will offset approximately 842,000 tonnes of CO2 annually, the equivalent of taking nearly 148,500 cars off the roads, and conserve enough water to meet the needs of approximately 23,600 Ontarians.