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City explores working arrangement with Samsung

City looks to develop energy conservation projects in partnership with Samsung Renewable Energy Canada
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Elliot Lake council is looking into a “potential” working arrangement with Samsung Renewable Energy Canada in city ventures aimed at energy conservation and economic development.

City CAO Daniel Gagnon and Mayor Dan Marchisella met with Samsung representatives in Toronto in January to discuss possible joint ventures between the city and Samsung.

Gagnon presented a report to council at its March 26 meeting on the drafting of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) in principle with the company. 

A possible agreement between the two was created through contacts with Pele Mountain Resources which has an agreement with Elliot Lake as its developer of energy and energy storage projects on city-owned land. Pele’s research, according the report from Gagnon, “led them to discussions with Samsung. In the summer of 2017 Samsung officials visited the Elliot Lake area and Samsung and Pele remain in discussions. Based on that relationship, the city was invited to consider how Samsung may be able to assist for green energy production and storage in Elliot Lake.

Gagnon told council that discussions with Samsung in January focused on possible development, “opportunities for clean energy …largely solar.” The possible projects could include the technology to use and operate solar panels for electricity generation and possible battery storage of electricity from the panels for use when needed.

According to Gagnon, Samsung technical expertise could be used in the development of an energy conservation plan for the proposed $41 million sportsplex in Elliot Lake. Gagnon said a similar arrangement is in the works with a joint venture between Samsung and Summerside, PEI on a similar project.

Both the mayor and CAO spoke with Summerside representatives on the joint project. Gagnon told council that Samsung officials are willing to make a presentation to council on the company’s technology and how it could be used in energy conservation projects at a municipal level, which could include the sportsplex.

Mayor Marchisella characterized the five-hour meeting with Samsung representatives as “somewhat Star Trekish,” with the depth and technical aspects discussed. 

“They bring technology to the table that we are not seeing in our country at the moment,” the mayor said.

Coun. Chris Patrie noted, “I think this is a good news story. It’s great to see a corporation like Samsung coming to the table. It opens our doors to international availability to even have the name Samsung brought forward as a potential partner.  I’m very impressed with the documentation council has received. I believe its inherent that we receive this and let the public get some information and input.”

“It’s fantastic potential,” Coun. Ed Pearce said of a possible agreement.

“I’m pleasantly surprised by the optimism this proposal is being received with. It’s quite refreshing. I’m looking forward to hearing see some economic development in our future,” Coun. Tammy VanRoon said.

“It’s not often a community like this has a chance to build a relationship with a $56 billion company. This is one of the biggest companies in the world, “Coun. Luc Cyr said.

Gagnon has now posted the report on the city’s website after council voted in favour to move ahead with talks on a possible agreement. 


About the Author: Kris Svela

Kris Svela has worked in community newspapers for the past 36 years covering politics, human interest, courts, municipal councils, and the wide range of other topics of community interest
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