Clean Energy Frontier Summit 2023

Submitted ByNuclear Innovation Institute

The Clean Energy Frontier program’s annual summit provides an opportunity for local elected officials from Bruce, Grey, and Huron counties and local Indigenous communities, the program’s Regional Steering Committee as well as representatives from the nuclear sector supply chain, the education sector, municipal staff, and economic development stakeholders to come together to learn about and celebrate the clean energy industry across this region. The summit, organized by the Nuclear Innovation Institute and supported by Bruce Power and Bruce County, provides an opportunity for stakeholders and the clean energy industry to network throughout the day-long event. For the first time in over two years, the program was able to offer a fully in-person summit event, which reached venue capacity of 120 participants.

Here’s what we did:

  • Opening remarks from Stellina Williams, COO of the Nuclear Innovation Institute, and Chris Peabody, Bruce County Warden
  • Keynote Speaker, Brock Dickinson
  • Presentation from the President and CEO of Bruce Power, Mike Rencheck
  • Presentation from Lise Morton, VP of Site Selection of the NWMO
  • Presentation from John Peevers, Director, Community and Media Relations & Economic Development and Marsha Roote Indigenous Employment & Training Specialist, Bruce Power
  • Presentation from Cathryn Love, Executive Director, and Mike Comello, Catapult Tech Network
  • Presentation from Jessica Linthorne, Director, CEF at NII
  • Local Economic Development Leaders panel discussion

Tabletop exercises gave participants an opportunity to exchange strategies for sustainable growth. Attendees were encouraged to consider the benefits, opportunities, and practical next steps that would assist them in achieving sustainable growth throughout the region.

This is what we heard:

Training and workforce: It was proposed that the region start providing local programming in a local facility and establish a network for collaboration and service sharing when training employees for cost and efficiency to improve the sector.

Healthcare: Attendees recommended that the region work together to lobby governments for healthcare funding to increase the sustainability of the regional healthcare system.

Municipal infrastructure: To maintain municipal infrastructure, the region should investigate partnerships with industry, investors and other municipalities, work cooperatively to provide effective service/review opportunities for shared services, and advocate collectively for infrastructure funding, demonstrating coordinated efforts to support community growth.

Housing: Attendees encouraged municipalities to review municipal processes, set best practices, and higher standards of service around housing, and to add infrastructure capacity to proactively support growth.

Education: Attendees understood the value of working together with industry to identify specific skills needs and job gaps, fill them, and find solutions.

The roundtable discussions’ main takeaway was that the Clean Energy Frontier region is full of opportunity. It is everyone’s responsibility to be prepared for expansion and to take advantage of the benefits offered by the local presence of the clean energy sector.

A survey was distributed to participants and 100% noted that they would recommend the CEF Summit to their colleagues. The summit’s content, which offered an economic outlook for the region and local economic development, was praised by respondents as being interesting, insightful and offered valuable takeaways for economic development.

The day was filmed for future use and presentations have been posted to the CEF program’s webpage, in conjunction with well-received posts on the NII’s social media channels. The content serves as a resource to elected officials, funders and the public.