January 23, 2009 – The Green Energy Act Alliance, a coalition of leading environmental groups, industry associations, farmers, community power and labour groups, applaud the McGuinty government’s announcement of six new wind farms in Ontario.
The announcement comes while the Ontario government is preparing a potentially world-class energy policy that could revolutionize the energy system in Ontario, bringing significant investment and jobs to the province’s struggling
manufacturing sector while ensuring our energy security and fulfilling Ontario climate change obligations.
“This is a good indication that Premier McGuinty and Minister Smitherman are going to continue to make good on their promise to make Ontario a global leader in green energy,” said Deb Doncaster, Executive Director of the Community Power Fund, a founding member of the Green Energy Act Alliance. “The true test will be what commitments are made in the upcoming Green Energy Act.
The Green Energy Act Alliance hopes the new Act will allow Ontario communities to develop, own and benefit from green energy projects and that a system of Advanced Renewable Tariffs will be a key principle to ensure that more of these projects come to the province.”
Awarded as part of the Renewable Energy Supply III program, the six wind farms will create 492.1 megawatts of clean, green energy. The projects will bring significant spin off benefits, generating $3 million in annual lease payments to hundreds of landowners, $1 million in annual municipal tax revenue and over 2,200 direct and indirect jobs for the
communities of Chatham-Kent, Essex, Prince Edward County and Thunder Bay.
“These wind farms are exactly the type of green development Ontario needs right now,” said Dr. Rick Smith, Executive
Director of Environmental Defence. “It’s good for the environment and even better for the economy.”
The Ontario Power Authority (OPA) predicts the job creation potential for each region to be significant. Up to 716 direct jobs are predicted for Southern Ontario (Chatham-Kent and Essex), 308 direct jobs in North-Western Ontario, and 108 direct jobs in South Eastern Ontario. In addition, the OPA predicts 1,090 indirect jobs across the province in manufacturing and professional services including engineering design, legal, accounting and real estate services.
“Wind farms are great but wind farms developed with Ontario-made wind turbines and components are much
better,” said Ken Neumann, National Director of United Steelworkers.
“We are encouraged that the province is supporting the development of more renewable energy, and we hope the province is also working on programs that will ensure the equipment used to harness and transmit that energy is manufactured here in Ontario.
We support the province’s efforts to date, but we hope it understands that without ‘buy local’ incentives and policies, much of the job creation potential of the green economy will be lost.”
About the Green Energy Act Alliance:
The Alliance’s vision is to make Ontario a global leader in green energy development through the use of renewable energy, distributed energy and conservation, creating thousands of jobs, economic prosperity, energy security, while ensuring climate protection. Founding groups include: the Ontario Sustainable Energy Association, Community Power Fund, the David Suzuki Foundation, Environmental Defence, the First Nations Energy Alliance, the Ivey Foundation, the Ontario Federation of Agriculture and the Pembina Institute.