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I’ve heard you can buy shares in that giant new wind turbine near the Exhibition

I’ve heard you can buy shares in that giant new wind turbine near the Exhibition. Is that true?—Sandy Donovan, Lawrence Park

It was true. In spring 2002, investors had the option of buying directly into North America’s first large-scale urban air turbine. For a minimum of $500, they could get a piece of the action through WindShare, a project established by the Toronto Renewable Energy Co-op, a grassroots group backed by Toronto Hydro and various government agencies. However, shares are now fully subscribed. But don’t worry about missing the jackpot: moral dividends will likely eclipse financial ones. Assuming Toronto’s wicked waterfront southwester continues its usual tear, the turbine should generate roughly 1.4 million kilowatt hours per year—enough to power 250 houses annually. While that energy is fed directly into Ontario Hydro’s grid, it leads to reductions at such toxic power stations as Mississauga’s coal-burning Lakeview plant. But there is opportunity on a second turbine project, slated for the Ashbridge’s Bay area—if you’re hoping for a windfall.

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