At the Biosphère Environment Museum: wind turbines to
increase public awareness of renewable energy sources
MONTRÉAL, Quebec, April 16, 2007 – For Earth Day, Environment Canada’s Biosphère is organizing an open house and invites the public to come and discover its two new wind turbines. As a result of this initiative, for the first time, Montrealers can see and learn all about this new source of renewable energy. There will be various activities and presentations. The open house will be held Saturday and Sunday, April 21 and 22 from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Admission is free for everyone.
Learn About Two Types of Wind Turbines
Wind turbines, or aerogenerators, convert the wind’s kinetic energy into electricity. They do not produce any pollution and are a form of energy that is infinitely sustainable. Installed at the end of March on the highest platform of the building, inside the geodesic structure, the Biosphère’s two wind turbines are each of a different type.
The first, a domestic type with three blades, has a horizontal axis and has an average power output of 1.8 kilowatts (kW), based on an annual average wind speed of 20 km/hour. It produces approximately 4,800 kWh (kilowatt-hours) per year, or 13 kWh per day. This energy production represents approximately one quarter of the electricity consumption, including heat, for three to five people living in a single-family house. The second, a commercial-type turbine, has a vertical axis and has an output of 2 kW. The vertical-axis wind turbine is noiseless and is safer for birds since it turns at a very slow speed.
During the open house, the public will be able to discover how wind turbines work and learn about optimal wind conditions. They will gain knowledge of the applications and the energy impacts of wind turbines, as well as the history, potential and status in the world, Canada and Quebec of this new source of renewable energy. In addition to presentations, guided tours and user accounts, there will be specialists from the Meteorological Service of Canada and the Université du Québec à Rimouski available to answer questions from the public. Visitors will also have access to various instruments and pieces of equipment.
Towards Responsible Consumption and Ecological Choices
Integrating several principles of sustainable development, the Biosphère was considered a green building right from its creation in 1995. A favoured place for environmental education ever since, the Biosphère seeks to educate young people and their families as well as the general public on major environmental issues pertaining to water, climate change, sustainable development and responsible consumption. In this vein, the Biosphère integrates green technologies into its energy management system, which already includes geothermal heating and natural water treatment basins.
Apart from energy savings, the two new wind turbines will primarily make it possible to improve the public’s awareness of this new source of energy, promote wise usage and demonstrate the importance of greening buildings and homes in order to reduce pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. The Biosphère educational program supports the EcoENERGY Initiative recently announced by Canada’s New Government; its purpose is to stimulate the supply of renewable energy in Canada.
Also, to better inform consumers, and to help them find solutions and to make more ecological choices, in the near future the environment museum plans to integrate within its facilities various technologies such as photovoltaic panels, to capture solar energy, and green roofs, composed of plants. These initiatives will help Canadian consumers make choices that will lead to a cleaner and healthier future.
For more information on the open house, please visit the Biosphère’s website at www.biosphere.ec.gc.ca or call 514-283-5000.
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For more information, contact:
Regional Advisor, Communications and Public Relations
Biosphère, Environment Canada