Enbridge Gas Leak Turns Focus on Renewables

Following a gas leak, the suburb of Toronto turns its attention to renewable energy sources like wind turbines & ground source heat pumps.

Yesterday, the City of Peterborough, Ontario suffered a major loss for the oil and gas industry. What does it mean for the energy providers in the area? As a major hub for renewable energy resources, particularly wind and water, this incident could put a major spotlight on their resources.

Residents living in the suburb just outside Toronto were given little time to prepare after construction workers in the area ruptured a gas line. The gas link redistributed hundreds of residents and businesses on Landsdowne Street West and Brealey Drive early in the morning, all of whom were forced to react instantly following the disaster.

The City of Peterborough released a statement following the event regarding the redirect of traffic, while the Evinrude Centre was enabled as a temporary shelter. Since the leak, air quality measurements have been taken at neighboring schools and senior residences, neither of which noted any significant cause for concern and thus were not evacuated. Today, news spread that the gas leak was finally capped.

Enbridge is the gas provider for the area, and is all too familiar about gas leaks. Just a few weeks ago the company experienced a similar crisis when a crude oil pipeline spilled more than 19,000 barrels of oil near Marshall, Michigan in July. After reopening the 6B line in September, the pipe was forced to shut down again with plans to reopen again this week.

"This extended outage will impact upstream lines and the additional shutdown of these lines is likely to impact receipts onto the system," Enbridge said in a statement.

As of 2009, the City of Peterborough produced an energy study indicating several existing renewable energy installations in the area, including a ground source heat pump at Orton Wistow School and the IKEA distribution center at Fletton, the Glass Moor wind farm which generated 16MW of electricity from eight 2 MW REpower wind turbines as well as three others installed at the McCain factory in Whittlesey that powers 7500 homes a year.

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