BUDGET 2012 DELIVERS NEW FUND TO CREATE JOBS, OPPORTUNITIES FOR RENEWABLE ENERGY BUSINESSES: SELINGER
To maximize the economic benefits of hydro investment and other renewable energy projects, Manitoba is establishing a new Energy Jobs Fund, Premier Greg Selinger announced today.
“Manitoba is a leader in renewable energy, with major investments in hydro, wind, geothermal heating and bio-energy,” said Selinger. “We are creating a $30-million fund to ensure Manitoba businesses can take full advantage of the economic opportunities that will come with the biggest expansion of Manitoba Hydro in decades.”
The premier said the fund will assist companies manufacturing equipment for hydro dams, electricity transmission and other forms of renewable energy, and will build on the province’s manufacturing strengths and work toward attracting new investment by:
helping companies that have or establish a manufacturing presence in Manitoba to bid successfully on the estimated $18 billion in capital investments that Manitoba Hydro will be making over the next 10 years; and
encouraging the expansion of made-in-Manitoba equipment used in geothermal, wind, next‑generation biofuels, biomass, solar, smart grid and other renewable energy initiatives.
The primary role of the fund will be to offer an additional source of financing to renewable energy equipment manufacturers. The loan is another tool that complements existing tax credits, training support and grant programs to support manufacturers, said Selinger.
“CG Power Systems Canada Inc. (CG) is encouraged by the establishment of the Energy Jobs Fund and Energy Opportunities office, especially at a time when CG is planning to increase its market presence in North America,” said Ian Harrison, CG vice-president, sales and business development, Canada and northern U.S. “CG believes it is important to support local companies to keep a higher portion of public spending in the province to generate more local benefits. The green energy sector is one of the fastest growing sectors and CG is positioning itself to become a global leader in green energy transmission and energy distribution.”
CG Power Systems Canada Inc. produces large power transformers including high-voltage, direct-current (HVDC) converters as well as mobile substations. Its Winnipeg plant has approximately 310 employees.
“The next decade will see a major expansion of the electricity infrastructure in Manitoba, to increase reliability and to meet the energy needs of future generations,” said Scott Thomson, president and CEO, Manitoba Hydro. “This fund will help maximize the involvement of Manitoba industries in building these new facilities, creating more job opportunities for Manitobans.”
“Manitoba has extraordinary resources but we're fortunate to have one resource that delivers green, cheap and reliable power,” said Selinger. “Our long-term vision continues to be to further develop clean, renewable energy to its full potential for the benefit of all Manitobans.”
An Energy Opportunities office will be created to assist business access to the fund, the premier said, adding a renewable energy jobs funding act will be introduced during the legislative session to establish administrative parameters for the program.