Posted by Nick Aroutzidis on Nov 17, 2019
November 21, 2019: Colan Simmons, “Global Warming. How we can make a difference”, Doug Thompson will introduce, and Rena Orr will thank our speaker.
Head Table:  Our President Brent Shackleton, invites Doug Thompson, John Fisher, Michael Fox, Josef Frank, Colleen Frizzell and Elizabeth Gaffney,  to join him at the head table.
Today at Rotary:  Today’s speaker was Ysni Semsendi, M.ESc, MBA, P.Eng., the Chief Executive Officer of Festival City Hydro.  He is an electrical engineer and a graduate of Western University.  Charlene Gordon introduced Ysni and explained how she was part of the hiring team that brought him to the city; the team’s concern at the time was that he might not be sufficiently challenged to stay in a smaller market like Stratford.  That was 10 years ago and it is clear that Ysni is still enjoying the challenge and the city.
Program Speaker Ysni SamSemsedini giving us an update on Festival Hydro and Rhyzome telecommunications
Ysni’s plan for his presentation was to discuss Festival Hydro and Rhyzome Networks both owned by Festival Hydro.  He began by reviewing the new 27kV power station that was built in 2013 at a cost of approximately 15M. The station was built to improve the power quality in the industrial park area of the city and to handle the expected increase demand of a rapidly growing city. The current power requirements are such that another station may soon have to be built.
A second venture described by Ysni was the installation of Canada’s largest Battery Storage Facility. The facility has a total capacity of 8.8 megawatts and is composed of 4 lithium-ion battery arrays that provide resiliency as well as back-up to the grid. The cost of this venture was approximately 20M. This is now partly off-set by regular revenue stream coming in due to the requirements of large-use customers.
At that point Ysni made the mistake of advising Rotarians that it was fine with him if they wanted to interrupt his talk with questions. Much to the horror of a scribe who likes a smooth, uninterrupted flow from the front, the assembled promptly peppered him with innumerable questions such as:
What are your thoughts about residential solar power?  We’re happy to support customers who wish to try these initiatives. 
Vehicle charging may (soon?) become commonplace, how will Festival Hydro handle the increased load?  No definitive answers at the moment, possibly something like local charging stations; we’re talking with other jurisdictions and trying to stay current with thoughts and trends in the industry.
Your thoughts on nuclear power?   As an electrical engineer I have always been fascinated by nuclear power.  Nuclear power combined with hydro are the largest methods of power supply in Ontario reducing our dependency on fossil fuels. 
Should Festival Hydro be sold to Ontario Hydro?  No.
General complaints about Hydro Bills?   Festival Hydro controls only about 30% of your entire residential bill.  Delivery charges are composed of numerous charges over and above the basic delivery charge.
A much-abbreviated description of Rhyzome Networks followed.  Rhyzome Networks is a data infrastructure company equipping communities for the digital era.  There are many innovative and exciting areas happening such as the `Autonomous Vehicle Innovation Network’ – Stratford is ground zero for this venture.  Rhyzome has partnered with Wightman to build critical home cabling infrastructure in the city.  City-wide wi-fi with 300 wireless access points and 70KM of fibre optic grid.
Scribe: John Wright
Pat Feryn giving president Brent banner from Rotary Club of Granada.
Rotarian Kevin Silver giving update and thanks to all participants in recent Arts and Craft show.
Foundation Draw: The prize today was donated by Roger Black and won by Jim Scott.
Guests: We welcomed,  Janet Harrison, Tim Culliton - Stratford and Jonathan Temple - Stratford
Make-ups: No Report
Please, if you do a make-up, please send me an email at
November’s Attendance Committee: Paul Siberry (I/C), Dave Skinner, Gerry Thuss, Sue Wakelin, Clark Mitchell, Jim Young, Lana Burchett, Dave Hunt, Nick Aroutzidis.