Sault Ste. Marie is the Alternative Energy Capital of North America. The moniker is based on the wide-range of energy projects operating or underway in the community. They include:
Sault Ste. Marie is home to the Prince Wind Farm, one of the largest wind energy farms in Canada. The site's 126 turbines can produce 189 megawatts of renewable energy, enough to power about 60,000 homes or roughly two cities the size of Sault Ste. Marie. Another major wind energy development, the Bow Lake Wind Farm, is currently under construction just north of the city.
There are five hydroelectric stations in the Sault Ste. Marie area that generate a total of 203 megawatts of renewable energy. The nearby Wawa area generates an additional 196 megawatts.
The Elementa Group has established a demonstration facility at the city landfill site and is conducting research with respect to converting municipal garbage into clean energy using a patented "Steam Reformation" process. The technology vaporizes solid waste into a synthetic gas, similar to natural gas, which can be used for power generation.
Essar Steel Algoma, one of the Sault's largest employers, began a cogeneration power project that utilizes excess gas from the steelmaking process. The $135-million initiative produces 70 megawatts of electricity and reduces the company's reliance on the power grid by an average of 50%.
Sault Ste. Marie is home to Starwood Energy Group, which has established a 60 megawatt solar farms project, the second largest in North America. The sites generate enough electricity to power about 24,000 homes. The city is also home to Heliene Canada, which recently established a photovoltaic solar panel manufacturing facility.
Using "Reverse Polymerization" technology, Ellsin Environmental has established a pilot tire recycling plant that breaks down old tires into their original parts: steel, oil and carbon black. Separated, each is valuable and can be reused for a variety of purposes, including power generation.