Windmill breezes through first year
Maple Honda’s lights turned on by the first commercial-scale use of wind-generated electricity in the region
Standing like a candle on a cake, a precedent-setting Vaughan landmark celebrates its first birthday this week.
On Sept. 20, 2006, Maple Honda officially unveiled the 50-kilowatt windmill generator, the result of a partnership between local utility PowerStream, Honda Canada and Zanchin Automotive Group, owners of the dealership.
“We’re definitely happy that we’ve put it up and that it’s part of the landscape,” Andria Coppa, of Zanchin Automotive Group, said this week. “I don’t think that in hindsight we would’ve done it any other way.”
Erected at a price tag of $285,000, the wind turbine casts it’s spinning shadows from the southwestern corner of the dealership’s lot at 89 Auto Vaughan Dr. The full cost was absorbed by Zanchin Automotive, Coppa said.
While that cost is expected to be be recouped in 5-10 years, Coppa insists the turbine wasn’t built because of longterm savings on electrical bills.
“Cars are inevitably associated with emissions, associated with pollution – period,” she said. “This came about for no other reason than just to do something environmentally sound.”
The community surrounding Maple Honda, Coppa said, has recognized and come to accept the windmill, the first commercial-scale use of wind-generated electricity in the region.
“We definitely get great responses from neighbours in the community,” Coppa said, adding that although it’s been a fixture in the Vaughan skyline for a year, she still gets inquiries about it “at least twice a week”.
Vaughan Today Friday, September 21, 2007 Page: 14 Section: Vaughan Business Byline: Philip Alves