Neutopia’s Focus to Help Aboriginal Communities
Neutopia Project Bawajigaywin
Neutopia is motivated by a powerful desire to use technology to help our communities become more efficient, more independent, and to create new regionalized micro-economies that will result in sustainable employment. We believe that remote communities such as many Aboriginal communities can benefit from the emerging bio-economy like with no other industrial or economic opportunity in history.
Before we launched our initiative over the Internet, we developed relationships with First Nations and Metis in Ontario who responded to our emails and calls for interest. We hope to attract many more, and create a network of Neutopia ecoPARKS that will thrive and help lift these communities to a more prosperous economic state and help them realize the benefits of harnessing our natural resources with various technologies goes far beyond job creation; it can lead to a strengthened unity and increased community health.
By re-investing no less than 80% of our net revenue to community enhancement projects we believe Neutopia will attract partners all over North America who realize we are truly a unique company with an innovative Social Benefit business model.
How Can Neutopia Help?
If you are a member of a community in a remote region or representing an Aboriginal community anywhere in North America, please contact us today to schedule a meeting. Our focus is to understand a community’s current problems and plan for the future by proposing appropriate ‘eco-solutions’. Neutopia is the result of a lifetime of preparation armed with solutions to many of the problems that remote communities face. We are very optimistic that we can form strong relationships with Aboriginal communities who see a benefit in our Social Benefit business model.
It can be applied to many areas of community development:
- Energy (solar, wind (large MW turbines or small rooftop/backyard systems), biomass, small hydro (without dams), biofuel from wood and agriculture)
- Infrastructure development
- Food (agriculture, aquaculture, clean water systems)
- Green housing
- Pollution reduction (from landfill diversion to graffiti removal)
- Economic development
- Sustainable employment
- And more!
What’s Wrong with the Energy Plans for Northern Ontario?
We believe the energy plans for Northern Ontario should be focused on how remote communities can generate their own power rather than have large power projects supplying power lines extending all over the landscape. Today’s world is about energy efficiency. It’s about de-centralized power. It’s about self-empowerment. Why pay others for electricity when you can be generating your own?
Neutopia presented a 188 page report to the municipality of Greenstone Mayor and Council on December 5, 2011 which was bursting with ideas on how to help create 100’s of jobs with sustainable employment opportunities and how to empower remote communities. Below is an excerpt from Neutopia’s Northern Energy Proposal that was included in the report to benefit the readers (Greenstone’s Council) who could then share the ideas with all area Aboriginal communities and any key stakeholders:
“The next thing we did (in Greenstone) was identify the upgrades to existing infrastructure that would be required to build a Neutopia ecoPARK, including the outdated electrical system. One thing that amazed me while up there was the news stories about how studies were being commissioned to determine the cost of upgrading power lines from Thunder Bay to Greenstone or even building a hydro project further north and then extending power lines 100’s of km. This is the age of energy efficiency; power lines are for outdated grid designs when communities weren’t able to generate their own power. Neutopia’s business model is focused on de-centralized power generation; it’s all about smart grids and smarter communities…where the people own the power! Why would anyone want to upgrade power lines when you could just build a power plant at the location where the power will be consumed? This is the age of clean energy and energy efficiency: imagine a community that provides the power to provide clean energy to the mining activities and gets paid for it rather than paying another company to generate it and transport it over 100’s of kilometres.
We think that extending power lines to Greenstone is like importing bottled water from southern Ontario when you can bottle your own here up north and sell the excess to the south
To put this into perspective, the east-west tie transmission project to upgrade the lines from Wawa to Thunder Bay is a 400 km line upgrade that carries a price tag of $600 million. (We asked Hydro One what it would cost to upgrade the lines from Thunder Bay to Greenstone and the soft cost estimate is roughly $500,000 to $1.2 million per km, and at a distance of approximately 300 km that could cost about $250 million.) This makes sense when you are installing the lines through communities that can tie into it but we’re talking about Northern Ontario here, where remote communities pay much more for the energy.
In fact, Northern communities pay 3 to 10 times more for the energy because the cost of transporting that energy is so costly. (Ontario ratepayers subsidize 2/3 of the cost of service for Hydro One Remote Communities Inc., $28 million in 2009.) This has gone up 33% since 2005 and will keep climbing as energy costs keep climbing. However, if remote communities started generating their own energy this would not only save a lot of money it would also help lead these remote communities to greater independence and would strengthen these communities because all that money spent on heating and electricity could then be used for education, healthcare, and greater social programs. This is why Neutopia has been giving free public awareness seminars over the past 3 years; community leaders need to know this. Now that smaller power generation systems are economical people have a choice; pay for power or get paid for power. It’s that simple.”
The goal should be to create power at the source rather than use inefficient power line transmission and distribution systems extending 100’s of km throughout natural habitat (that should be a last resort). Neutopia believes that is a practice of the previous generation that will be lost as communities strive to be more economical, more efficient and more respective to our natural environment.
Furthermore, if Neutopia is successful in helping Greenstone to stop relying on importing energy then Neutopia’s solution could become an example for all area Aboriginal communities and how they can be doing the same thing; get off the grid and harness your own clean energy to become self sufficient. It is feasible. It is economical.
Neutopia believes if we are successful and can transform these community problems into social solutions by re-investing our revenues back into community enhancement projects then this will be viewed historically as the single biggest economic and social development opportunity ever presented to our Aboriginal communities.