Kincardine is known for power. And Leader Resources is known for growing power. A pioneer and leader in the renewable energy sector, this Ontario-owned and operated company has its headquarters in Kincardine, employing 15 full-time staff and doing business with many area contractors and professionals. Charles Edey founded Leader Resources in 2009 after more than a decade in the renewable energy sector. “Renewable energy is relatively new to Ontario and Canada, compared to the rest of the world. Even though our business is young, we are veterans in the industry.”
Before founding Leader Resources, Edey was a renewable energy manager for Ontario Power Generation. “It was during those years that I realized the future really is about sustain- ability, and that means harnessing the abundant and renewable sources of power available to us. It’s also about keeping our communities and our planet sustainable and healthy. We need a mix of energy sources, and renewables are a great way to balance and grow a clean energy supply. The sun and wind are always shining or blowing somewhere in Ontario and they can support our society in a strong and healthy way.”
Leader Resources is developing and operating dozens of clean energy projects throughout Ontario and is now expanding its reach across the country. “We are finding that people understand and accept the importance of renewable energy in our changing world and we have a well-earned reputation as an experienced, responsible and successful developer and operator of projects,” Edey said on the growth of his business.
There are many ways communities can benefit from renewable energy projects. Having renewable sources of power can make communities more independent in the long-run, shareholders in local cooperatives and municipalities can enjoy part ownership of the projects and earn revenue, and farmers become more financially viable by using their land to grow crops and animals, as well as renewable energy. “Farmers really can feed cities and power them at the same time, by hosting renewable energy projects,” Edey said. While the staff complement at Leader Resources has grown, and work with local contractors increases, there are also great opportunities for young people to learn about the industry of the future and learn new skills.
“If you go into schools today, you see renewable energy everywhere. We are providing opportunities for those young people,” Edey said. “We are growing our business, while we are growing power – clean, healthy power. And we are proud to be doing it right here, at home, in Kincardine.” In every way, Leader Resources is working to demonstrate respect and commitment to a healthy and sustainable planet. The greening of the company’s fleet includes the addition of an electric vehicle and the installation of a courtesy electric vehicle charging station for the community, which is powered solely by renewable energy.
“As fossil fuels become more and more scarce and we all become more conscious of the need to breathe cleaner air, we are seeing the momentum to switch to electric vehicles – especially, with cleaner energy sources coming on line,” said Kathryn Freimanis, executive vice-president at Leader Resources. While Leader Resources is providing the charging station free of charge to anyone who wishes to “fill up”, the cost is minimal. It costs about the same as a couple of stamps and an envelope to charge an electric car to drive 100 kilometres. A full charge can last up to 450 kilometres depending on the vehicle. “It’s easy to fall in love with these electric vehicles. They perform beautifully and are incredibly inexpensive to run,” said Edey. “It’s the future, and here at Leader Resources the future is now. We are proud to support emissions-free travel,” added Freimanis. The EV charging station is one of a series running between London and Owen Sound, joining a network that spans the entire country and is part of the world’s longest green highway. Electric vehicle travellers have the opportunity to drive emissions free along Ontario’s West Coast and the local charging station is a reason to stop and spend a bit of time in Kincardine.
Edey hints that there is more to come soon.
“We have some exciting plans, and we will have news in the near future!”