|September 24, 2009|
Ontario Tables New Rules for Renewable Energy
|The Government of Ontario has introduced new regulations it believes will lead to thousands of new jobs in the new green economy under Ontario’s Green Energy Act. |
Solar, wind, water, biomass, biogas and landfill gas producers, including individual homeowners, will all be eligible to sell their power to the provincial grid under the program, one of the four final components of the Ontario Green Energy Act announced by Premier Dalton McGuinty.
The major components of the Green Energy Act rules that were announced include:
Feed In Tariff
The new rules establish North America’s first comprehensive feed-in tariff program:
With respect to domestic content requirements for alternative energy projects, the new rules require:
Renewable Energy Facilitation Office
A newly created Renewable Energy Facilitation Office (REFO) will serve as a one-window access point for information on renewable energy project requirements, and will connect Ontarians with the appropriate resources to assist them in navigating through the approvals and Feed-in Tariff processes.
Renewable Energy Approval (REA)
The Renewable Energy Approval (REA) process becomes law effective September 24, 2009, and is designed to ensure that renewable energy projects are developed in a way that is protective of human health, the environment, and Ontario’s cultural and natural heritage.
Set Back Restrictions
The rules for minimum setbacks for wind turbine projects require that Wind farms of five turbines or less must be 550 meters away from the nearest homes, the setback requirement will increase according to the number and noise level of turbines (largest in Canada, US, and 8 European countries).
Premier Dalton McGuinty said Thursday that the new rules concerning wind turbines will be the toughest in North America but "will not unreasonably deter new investment, so that we can together create jobs in this new green economy."
The regulations will also prohibit large-scale solar panel projects from prime agricultural lands.
Ontario’s new regulations provide a stable investment environment where companies know what the rules are -- giving them the confidence to invest in Ontario, hire workers, and produce and sell renewable energy.
The government believes more than 50,000 direct and indirect jobs will be created under the Act. Investments in new renewable energy projects already in place or under construction in Ontario since 2003 exceed $4 billion.Government of Ontario