SWITCH Facilitates Implementation of Local Initiatives
We would like to take this opportunity to thank SWITCH for their assistance in facilitating the recently signed agreement between SWITCH member John Johnson, President of Trailhead Initiatives Inc. and Jordan Morelli and Austin Jackson of the Queens University (SWITCH institutional member) Sustainable Energy Systems Laboratory for the development of a prototype for a Solar Powered Transportable Water Sanitizer. Without the assistance of SWITCH, and the networking opportunities they provide, this project would likely not have had the financing available to proceed.
SWITCH's e-newsletter put me in touch with environmentally-minded individuals and resulted in connecting me with a perfect speaker for KEDCO's Small Business Forum, Going Green and Staying Profitable. Thank you for your help.
Thank-you for all of your suggestions when meeting with us, it was most helpful for us to talk through some of our ideas/concerns, while discussing how we can proceed to the next stage in exploring the development of a solar energy project for this property..
The SWITCH Staff Looks Out For Opportunities For Its Members
Becoming a SWITCH member is probably the best investment that Nedco and myself could have made, to become more involved within the Kingston community, as we all try to work together to make Kingston the greenest city. It is a one of a kind, member base, focusing on the same end result. In the past 14 months SWITCH, and its members, has made a major contribution to help NEDCO put themselves right into the middle of this ever growing Renewable Energy Industry. As we move forward NEDCO is consistently looking for better, affordable solutions, with our partners, whether they are large or small projects, to make this a better place to live.
In March 2008 the SWITCH Energy Conservation and Renewable Energy Fair was held. The fair brought 600 community members to meet 20 exhibitors. SWITCH member, Renewable Energy of Plum Hollow, appreciated the opportunity SWITCH provided to meet so many potential customers and told us:
I just wanted to send you an email to thank you for the SWITCH Fair... We were very surprised at the large turnout and the depth of questions that the public had about Renewable Energy products. I think we were able to help educate a number of folks in our local community about Renewable Energy. I really hope that you will put another fair like this on in the future. If you have another fair like this in the future, please count on us.
SWITCH Provides Networking Opportunities & Supports the Sustainable Energy Community
SWITCH holds monthly roundtable meetings, providing an open forum wherein news from the sustainable energy sector is shared. Bringing together people from all backgrounds, these meetings provide an excellent opportunity to learn about what is happening in the Kingston region. SWITCH offers access to practical support as well as technical advice from world-renowned experts. It provides business development support for entrepreneurs and acts as an informational resource for consumers.
As a new member we are very impressed with SWITCH's knowledge base and determination to serve their membership. SWITCH has proven to be a large help in providing information and business contacts in Eastern Ontario. We see SWITCH as a positive influence in the region and are proud to be supporters. We look forward to many SWITCH events in the future, especially the upcoming Green Profit Conference.
I am writing to express my gratitude for the wonderful work SWITCH Kingston has done! Over several meetings, I have made essential contacts that will help further my Biofuel/Electricity generating project. I hope to be in full operation in 1 year, generating 1920 MWh per year of electricity for the grid powered solely by recycled cooking oil. SWITCH has made pursuing my renewable energy ambitions easier, and for that I am grateful.
I was very impressed with the broad-based, business-friendly information and networking tools that SWITCH Kingston has created through its well-attended monthly meetings, its informative web site and its knowledgeable and available staff. The shift from traditional energy sources to renewable energies is breakly getting a boost from SWITCH: you can see it in the interest-level of the participants, their willingness to offer suggestions and to contribute their expertise, and in the enthusiastic involvement of the staff of the relevant municipal and educational institutions. In Montreal we have nothing like this; the closest we come is the monthly consumer-oriented information or how-to workshop sessions offered by Energie Solaire Quebec, and attended by some 30 people. In Kingston you seem to primarily provide tools to strengthen the industry while secondarily offering tools to inform or educate consumers. I will be glad to become a member and to contribute as best I can once I am established in Kingston.
As an organization pursuing similar goals in a smaller, outlying community, the Brockville Climate Action Group is pleased that SWITCH is providing a focus for value-added, cross-sector networking in the region.
SWITCH Connects Employers & Employees
Potential Employers and Employees meet each other through SWITCH.
SWITCH is an excellent organization for networking and learning about new and exciting opportunities and technologies in the alternative energy industry. After my first meeting I have met some great contacts in all areas pertaining to renewable energy and thanks to SWITCH I now work for a member company. Thank you Ted and Catherine for the help!
After finishing my business degree I was looking for a career in the renewable energy industry and the SWITCH organization was of great help to me. They provided me with contacts, had many useful suggestions regarding where to look and were generally extremely helpful. I now have a career in Kingston with Cleave-Energy, Ontario's solar leader, and I owe a great thanks to SWITCH. Thank you.
SWITCH Helps Businesses
I am writing to thank SWITCH for two great introductions. The first came at one of their monthly meetings where they brought in a representative from Enfinity - a large renewable energy developer - to speak about the FIT program and roof-top solar.
I met with Tom Hewitt from Enfinity after his presentation. As a result of that meeting, I now have a four person project management firm called Greenlight Projects Inc. We established Greenlight Projects to help Enfinity through the rooftop and ground mount development process. Over the last four months our relationship with Enfinity has grown to over 100 rooftop solar projects. Of the four people in Greenlight Projects, three of them graduated from Queen's engineering.
The second introduction came at a meeting arranged by SWITCH where members of the Queen's Solar Design Team (QSDT) outlined their program and project. Through Greenlight Projects we connected QSDT with Mattamy Homes, one of Canada's largest home builders. Mattamy is now a sponsor of QSDT and they are sharing ideas and information on sustainable houses and communities.
The introductions and opportunity to meet others in the renewable energy and sustainable development fields provided by SWITCH has been a tremendous help to Greenlight Projects.
As a small contractor in a new industry (the FIT program), there are an incredible number of things to investigate, study, learn and do. In addition to educating myself, staff, subcontractors and tradesman, Switch has helped educate the customer. Switch has also brought together various service and equipment suppliers, providing the opportunity to network both business to business as well as business to consumer.
Switch has also been instrumental in sourcing answers from the government for us, as well as disseminating information to us and the public in general. Switch has been able to operate as a filter for all our questions and answers, providing one voice to ask questions for its many members. Switch has also fostered the belief of the communal benefits of renewable energy, building an organization of like minded businesses, educators, local government members and concerned citizens.
As a businessman with 30 years experience starting and building service businesses, Switch has been a real asset to me in the help, support and education they have provided. I honestly believe that Switch is helping drive the success of this industry in all the communities that they touch, and if they had the opportunity to expand, I feel that they can duplicate their local success in every community that they assist.
I would like to thank Switch for allowing our company the opportunity to present to the 2009 Ontario East Municipal Conference. In engaging this audience, we were able to extend our role in the "Green Building" market not only by delivering essential information to key decision makers, but also by having the time to address several issues such as LEED building processes on a one to one basis.
I look forward to next years conference and hope that we can, once again, be involved.
To Whom It May Concern, I have recently dealt with SWITCH in a professional capacity and found their staff and information to be both helpful and informative. I have also attended two events in which SWITCH was involved and they were both extremely well run and provided information and resources that exceeded my expectations. I always received timely and pertinent responses to my emails and telephone calls and look forward to growing my business relationship with this organization. I am not currently a SWITCH member but am strongly considering it due to the assistance and resources they have so far provided. I would recommend contacting SWITCH to anyone looking for more information on alternative energy.
Spectra-Nova Technologies is a manufacturer of electronic test and measurement (solar simulation) products used for characterizing solar cells and panels. SWITCH has proven to be a valuable business partner in Spectra-Nova's extended family. Being located close to our manufacturing facilities in Ottawa meant that we could take part in a number of the Open Meetings held monthly in Kingston.
Through direct interactions with SWITCH and its associates, Spectra-Nova has had the opportunity to meet with several promising prospective customers, namely organizations that are looking to set up module (panel) manufacturing facilities in the Kingston area, and would require solar simulation systems to test and qualify their product before selling them.
In addition, we have had the good fortune of being introduced by SWITCH to Dr. Joshua Pearce of the Queen's University Mechanical and Materials Engineering department and are currently collaborating with his photovoltaic group on a leading edge dual beam photoconductivity system, which will be used to measure the spectral response of different materials used to manufacture new types of solar cells. Dr. Pearce's group and the SWITCH organization were also named as members in a potential consortium being formed to garner support for funding through Canada's sustainable development programs. Our proposal was selected to advance to the next level of evaluation.
Thank you for referring a local renewable energy technology company to me. I am excited to work with the renewable energy industry and please do let me know if I can assist in any way as I would be pleased and honored.
From the very outset, I knew I wanted to build the greenest dairy in North America -- but how? We had the desire but not the knowledge or list of contacts to help us put together our green energy and green design plans for our dairy in a cost effective, expedient way. Along the way, we encountered a lot of enterprises selling equipment and consulting services. But it was not always easy to discern who had real expertise -- and who were just green enthusiasts themselves getting in on the eco-act! We paid for a lot of superficial advice and at times, ill-informed advice. We were indeed becoming frustrated. Then, I came across SWITCH Kingston in an incidental way via a meeting with Don Young for a different reason. He invited me to attend a meeting. I did. Upon meeting with members and attending a meeting or two, I realized that I had finally found a credible, thoughtful group of passionate "green" people who had the network and more importantly, DEPTH of expertise, to help us make the best decisions for our green dairy venture. Switch Kingston and their members played an important role in the development and completion of our Platinum LEED dairy-the first and only in North America. Funding for this organization is money well spent!
Being involved in SWITCH has enabled CPE Division "L" Inc. to make good contacts with like-minded companies and individuals who are involved in promoting the use of renewable energy. During the monthly public forums, we learn of new technologies. In addition, CPE can gain knowledge of local projects, which would require alternative energy and the support of the organization to participate in them. We find our involvement in SWITCH to be a valuable asset to our organization.
SWITCH Works Alongside Public Institutions & Provides Information to the Public
Kingston Electricity Distribution Limited appreciates the support that SWITCH has lent to our efforts in hopes of increasing the amount of renewable, distributed energy generation in our community.
I just wanted to let [SWITCH] know how much I appreciated the suggestions offered to me when I visited your offices. Having access to the information and to have my questions answered in a prompt manner was so reassuring. It was also great to have you able to recommend a few local contractors who would be willing to assist as we move forward in the area of solar power.
Just a note to let you know that these [SWITCH weekly email] newsletters are consistently excellent. I find something of interest in every one of them.
I was an attendee at the 2009 Ontario East Municipal Conference held in Kingston in September 2009, and was fortunate to sit in on the Renewable Energy at the Grassroots session that was hosted by SWITCH. Led by Ted Hsu, the session included presentations by Brad Leonard (Renewable Energy of Plum Hollow), Jeremy Neven (Tackaberry Heating), Michael Tiffe (TAB Mechanical), and Will Masek (Upper Canada Solar) that gave all of us listening some great insights into how we can set up small-scale renewable energy projects that are both affordable and practical. Many of us now have a better understanding of how to put these projects together and can tell other small organizations and municipalities that these types of projects can happen now.
Thank you for compiling all of the comments from the SWITCH members...we really appreciate the feedback from those in the industry about our energy policies.
SWITCH Works With Research & Educational Institutions
On behalf of the research portfolio at Queens University, I would like to extend my sincere thanks to SWITCH for the letter provided in support of our campaign to secure funding for our Advanced Research and Innovation Institute. Our focus on environmental technologies combined with SWITCHs community-driven mission will help to differentiate Kingston and the surrounding region as a centre of excellence in alternative energy technology.
I just wanted to let you know how much I appreciate you having our little MITACS blurb in your weekly newsletter. I've had about a half dozen inquiries simply from that alone-this is great, and a much better rate of inquiry than I've had in the past from similar initiatives. I will keep you updated from any projects that we fund from any of these inquiries. Please don't hesitate to contact me if there is ever anything you think I could do to help companies in the Kingston region take advantage of this opportunity.
SWITCH Benefits Students
It was great meeting you. The (SWITCH) group seems super keen and always ready to help out anybody with a like mind, which was incredibly encouraging to see, especially as a new grad. Working with CEEC this year, my exposure to all of the initiatives and new opportunities in environmental technology has gotten me excited for chances to get involved in something new! I was very impressed and excited to get exposure to the initiatives in which SWITCH is involved; it was very inspiring to see the pro-action that SWITCH has taken in the communitys sustainable initiative. Everyone at the meeting was very kind and inviting and I look forward to attending future SWITCH meetings!
I first contacted SWITCH for advice on a project that the Graduate Students for Environmental Sustainability (GSES) group at Queens University were working on. Building on an existing Kingston Environmental Advisory Forum (KEAF) project, in which energy meters were made availbale for patrons to borrow from the Kingston Frontenac Public Libraries, GSES was working towards a similar project to make energy meters available at Queens University libraries. I contacted SWITCH based on their knowledge of the energy meters and electricity costs in Kingston. I received prompt and knowledgeable responses from SWITCH staff that were key to the implementation of the energy meter project at Queens. GSES would like to extend their thanks to SWITCH for their assistance!
We wanted to take this time to thank you for your contribution to the Commerce and Engineering Environmental Conference 2009. Your presentation has inspired the executive and the delegates to view environmental challenges as a great opportunity for positive and sustainable growth. We hope to work with you again in the future.
The purpose of this letter is to thank you for your assistance with the TEAM program at Queen's University. Networking through the use of your SWITCH e-newsletter allowed us to reach a broad spectrum of potential clients quickly and efficiently. TEAM has received many calls that we feel we would not have obtained without the help of all the fine members of SWITCH. We wish to commend SWITCH on the friendly help and organization of a great resource of likeminded companies and individuals. We look forward to working with SWITCH in the upcoming academic school years. Thanks once again and keep up the good work!
SWITCH Connects the World to Kingston
I am delighted to have discovered Kingstons alternative energy cluster SWITCH! As the Commercial Program Manager at the Canadian Embassy in Vienna, I first contacted SWITCH in early summer 2008 looking for information on whether Austrian biomass technology could be applicable to Kingston, Ontario, to allow Kingston to replace a portion of its existing fossil fuel based energy supply with renewable energy, using proven techniques and boilers from Austria. I received an enthusiastic, professional response and have been supplied with extremely useful information and contacts from SWITCH over the last months. This has lead to some concrete steps towards developing the first ever Canada-Austria industrial biomass-to-energy project in Ontario.