Last night, the Ontario Sustainable Energy Association ( celebrated its 6th annual Powering Prosperity Awards dinner (, recognizing the champions of the sustainable energy sector, and celebrating the achievements that help advance sustainable energy within the province of Ontario. 

"The Powering Prosperity Awards is an annual fundraising dinner hosted by the Ontario Sustainable Energy Association to shine the spotlight on sustainability and sustainable energy development in the province," said Joe Mulhall, President of the Canadian Union of Skilled Workers. "Our members believe that building a sustainable, decentralized energy system creates good jobs, generates local economic opportunities and contributes to a healthy environment." 


The evening brought together an illustrious crowd of the Who's Who in the sustainable energy industry. It was kicked off by Atul Mahajan, President and CEO of Oshawa Power and Utilities Corporation (OPUC) who delivered a poignant keynote speech about the important and ever-changing role of the utilities in the development of a sustainable and decentralized energy system that will allow consumers and generators of energy to interconnect in ways that are much more flexible. He highlighted in particular the great success OPUC is seeing from its solar PV and storage pilot ( 

"Our vision is of a prosperous Ontario with a thriving sustainable energy sector, good jobs, resilient communities and healthy environments -powered, heated, cooled and moved by portfolios of sustainable energy. Events like Powering Prosperity and Green Energy Doors Open showcase the individuals, communities and businesses that are helping make this vision a reality," states Nicole Risse, Interim Executive Director of OSEA. Risse added, "Today we celebrate the winners of the 2016 Powering Prosperity Award, as well as the achievements of everyone that is active in the sector, each working toward building a better future for Ontario."

 This year, the association recognized seven champions in six different categories: 

Mayor Randy Hope from Chatham-Kent took home the prestigious 20/20 Leadership Award, being recognized for his leadership in promoting sustainable economic growth in his community with green energy and community engagement as a priority. 

The Developer of the Year Award went to Whitesand First Nation, a far-northern First Nation community who has worked very hard and over many years to get the permission to build a 3.64 MW combined heat and power biomass plant, which will provide electricity to three communities. In 2016, Whitesand First Nation is expected to begin construction on the project that will provide the region with a steady stream of revenue, local jobs and an ample reliable, clean supply of electricity. 

The SMARTpreneur of the Year Award category recognizes the achievements of entrepreneurs in the sector. In 2016, Brant Municipal Enterprises was awarded the prize in recognition of its pursuit to bring socially beneficial activities, including the development of a renewable energy portfolio, conservation initiatives and the development of a progressive fibre optic network, to its community. 

The Sustainable Project of the Year Award went to Ernestown Windpark, a development by Horizon Legacy Group. Ernestown Windpark is a small, low impact, 10 MW facility that is partially owned by a First Nation community and located near Kingston, Ontario. 

Six Nation of the Grand River Development Corporation (SNDC) received the Aboriginal Project of the Year Award for its profound commitment to renewable energy in Ontario. To date, SNDC has direct ownership in a portfolio that exceeds 600MW of installed wind and solar generation locally, generating revenue for the community and creating jobs for their people. 

The Senvion Community Project of the Year Award saw two distinguished winners. The first one was Camp Kawartha, who was recognized for the leadership in growing sustainability awareness amongst students of all ages. The second recipient was the Ottawa Renewable Energy Co-operative (OREC). In September of 2015, OREC completed a solar project on the rooftop of Maurice Lapointe High School in Kanata's Bridlewood neighbourhood, which was Ottawa's 1,000th solar rooftop installation. The project is 100 percent owned and financed by Ottawa residents through OREC's community-based business model.