TORONTO, ON — More Ontario homes and businesses will soon be powered by green energy with the awarding of contract offers for almost 2,500 megawatts of renewable energy announced by Ontario's Minister of Energy and Infrastructure, Brad Duguid on April 8th. These projects, approved under the province's landmark Feed-in Tariff (FIT), are part of the largest green energy investment of its kind in Canadian history.
These projects are in addition to the 510 renewable energy contract offers totalling 112 megawatts (MW) approved last month.
"These projects are the latest accomplishments of the Green Energy Act which is making Ontario a place of destination for green energy development, manufacturing, and expertise." said Minister Duguid. "The investments generated by FIT will not only create green jobs, but will also build a coal-free legacy for future generations."
The 184 projects announced in early April will generate enough energy to power 600,000 homes. Located in communities across the province, the total 694 Feed-in Tariff (FIT) contract offers announced to date will create 20,000 direct and indirect green jobs and attract about $9 billion in private sector investment, as well as investment in new Ontario-based manufacturing.
"In six short months the Feed-in Tariff program has delivered strong results and has more than exceeded our expectations," said Ontario Power Authority CEO Colin Andersen.
Enabling community and aboriginal participation in renewable energy development is a key objective of the province's Green Energy Act. Thirty-six community and aboriginal projects will receive a first round FIT contract. These projects are located in communities throughout the province.
"I'm pleased to see aboriginal and local communities across Ontario as active participants in the green energy movement. Their leadership enhances Ontario's efforts to establish itself as a North American leader in renewable energy," said Minister Duguid.
Seventy-six of the approved projects are ground-mounted solar photovoltaic, 47 are on-shore wind and 46 are waterpower projects. There are also seven biogas, two biomass, four landfill gas, one roof top solar and one off-shore wind projects. Detailed information about the projects, including their locations, is available on the Ontario Power Authority's website at www.powerauthority.on.ca.
Significantly expanding the amount of renewable generation is a key part of the provincial government's strategy to address climate change by eliminating dirty coal-fired generation by the end of 2014. The FIT program's mandatory requirements for "made in Ontario" technologies and services also makes renewable generation a key part of the strategy to make the province North America's leader in green jobs and manufacturing.
Future transmission system expansion will open up capacity to accommodate more renewable projects. Projects that did not receive a first round FIT contract offer will now be put through what is called an Economic Connection Test (ECT) to identify transmission or distribution system expansion projects that support renewable generation and meet economic requirements. The first test will start in August/September. Renewable energy projects enabled by these expansions projects will be eligible for a FIT contract once work begins on the projects.
The Ontario Power Authority is responsible for ensuring a reliable, sustainable supply of electricity for Ontario. Its four key areas of focus are: planning the power system for the long term, leading and co-ordinating conservation initiatives across the province, ensuring development of needed generation resources, and supporting the continued evolution of the electricity sector.