In 2004, 11 community leaders in industry, government and academia in the Durham area began a discussion to address Ontario’s emerging energy challenges. The goal of the partners, including Ontario Power Generation, Veridian, Siemens, the municipality of Clarington, the City of Pickering, the Region of Durham, UOIT and others, was to leverage and build upon the strengths of Durham’s energy sector. The intent was
• to develop energy solutions through innovation;
• to create economic and industry stimulus;
• and to further develop the natural strategic relationships between the academic community, the local government and private sector that exist in Durham Region to create a positive contribution within the energy sector.
Durham’s strength in the energy sector is built on the infrastructure, the human capital, training capability and expertise that naturally developed to support the nuclear plants that book-end Durham Region in Clarington and Pickering and the other energy sector partners.
In June 2005 DSEA was officially launched to develop clean energy and sustainable solutions for today and the future… for Ontario, Canada and the world.
Today, our organization has grown to include about 70 energy and related industry organizations including:
• two universities and a college here in Durham Region,
• local government across the lakeshore of Durham Region,
• the Durham Regional government,
• as well as numerous private and public sector organizations in
Durham and beyond.
In the past six years, DSEA has become a recognizable participant in the energy sector in Ontario taking a leadership role on commercialization and partnership development leading to new energy projects and partnerships. We have become a thought leader in the industry through our contribution to energy and sustainability discussions and through an annual conference that attracts international participants. Previous conferences have included Sustainable Transportation and Sustainable Communities.
Most recently, the Ontario Ministry of Research and Innovation granted about $1.2 million dollars in funding for DSEA to lead development and operation of a regional innovation centre that will bring new resources and expertise to Durham entrepreneurs. The Regional Innovation Centre will provide commercialization, incubation facilities and advice to both fledgling and mature technology-driven companies in Durham Region and Northumberland County. The DSEA Innovation Durham Northumberland will not just provide these services to the energy sector but will assist organizations in other emerging technologies such as digital media, bioscience and clean tech. This is a demonstration of how the strength of Durham’s energy sector, partly born out of the nuclear facilities here, has led to further holistic development and a beneficial result to the region’s residents and economy in a more global way.
It allows Durham to take a lead role in developing and promoting sustainable energy solutions. It will allow us to use our strength in energy to progress other intersecting industry sectors such as transportation and development of new technologies such as electric vehicle and smart grid development.
To that point, another recent initiative facilitated by DSEA is a multi-partner pilot project on electric vehicle and electricity grid compatibility. This project will help advance knowledge and development of new technologies and will produce data that will contribute to the discussion on the path forward on this emerging technology. It will also provide Durham and DSEA partners potential opportunities for economic development in the converging energy and automotive sectors. Perhaps more importantly it could help in development of clean, effective ways to reduce local pollution and greenhouse gas emissions in transportation applications.
Durham Strategic Energy Alliance