Green power takes centre stage at Hillside Festival

Guelph's annual music festival to use 100% wind energy to power the main stage. The stage will be set with lights, amps, speakers and microphones all running on 100% wind energy donated by Selectpower - an affiliate of Guelph Hydro Inc.

July 15, 2005 Guelph, ON - Over the past 22 years the Hillside Festival has featured performances by some of Canada's most popular musical acts including Bruce Coburn, Sarah Harmer, Gord Downey (of the Tragically Hip) The Barenaked Ladies, Metric and Broken Social Scene. This year, the main stage lineup includes Sam Roberts, The Arcade Fire, Cuff the Duke, The Be Good Tanyas, Buck 65 and more.

The stage will be set with lights, amps, speakers and microphones all running on 100% wind energy donated by Selectpower - an affiliate of Guelph Hydro Inc. "To my knowledge this is the largest festival using renewable energy to power two of its five stages," said Shehzad Qureshi, Energy Manager for Selectpower.

"We determined how much electricity the stage uses during the festival, and put the equivalent amount of Selectwind into the grid," says Qureshi. "The power still comes from the grid, but we've put in enough wind energy to offset 100% of the power they use out to run the equipment on the stage. In effect, Hillside's Main Stage is completely wind-powered"

The stage will use roughly 575 kWh of Selectwind during the three-day festival. That's over half the electricity used by an average home in one month. The power comes from Sky Generation; a commercial wind generator located on the Bruce Peninsula.

So far this year, we have experienced more than 35 smog alert days. That's a record high for Ontario and more smog days than the last two years combined. Coal-generated electricity causes about 25% of Ontario's smog and air pollution. Selectwind replaces electricity that would otherwise be generated by burning coal. So, by using Selectwind, Hillside will prevent over 512 kg of Carbon Dioxide and other harmful emissions from entering the air.

"Hillside is committed to educating its audience about environmental issues, and making environmentally responsible choices for the festival itself," stated festival manager Rachel Thompson. "We choose our performers, sponsors and vendors very carefully to ensure that their goals are consistent with ours. Hillside strives to be accessible, environmentally sensitive, and inclusive."

The sold out festival scheduled for July 22 to 24, 2005 encourages its patrons to ride a bike or take a shuttle bus to the Guelph Lake Conservation Area where, in addition to the outstanding musical performances, people can visit the Environmental Expo, participate in all kinds of workshops, and enjoy performances on both a solar-powered Sun Stage and, this year, a wind-powered Main Stage.

"It's an opportunity to educate people about their energy choices," added Qureshi. "If a stage at Hillside can use wind power, then each member of the audience can use it in their home. As more people choose Selectwind we improve our air quality, we reduce our reliance on coal-generated electricity and we encourage more wind energy generation in Ontario."


Selectpower is an affiliate of Guelph Hydro Inc. offering Energy-Smart Solutions including: energy advice and assessments, draft proofing, Energy-STAR rated heating and air conditioning, windows and doors, wind, solar and geothermal solutions, water heaters and softeners, water saving toilets, energy-saving lighting and more.

Shehzad Qureshi, Energy Manager, Selectpower 519.780.1209 x 112

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