Whitby, ON — The Green Energy Act Alliance, a diverse coalition of Ontario groups committed to furthering green power, celebrated today as the McGuinty government announced nearly 2,500 megawatts (MW) of new renewable energy projects. The news was the latest in a series of announcements related to the new feed-in-tariff program (FIT), which guarantees a stable price for renewable energy.
“With this announcement, Ontario has flicked the switch on a new era of green energy prosperity,” said Dr. Rick Smith, Executive Director, Environmental Defence, a member of the Green Energy Act Alliance. “This occasion is potentially as significant for Ontario’s economic prosperity as the signing of the Auto Pact in 1965. The provincial government has served notice today that the new centre of global green investing is right here in Ontario. Ontario is the first jurisdiction in North America to adopt a feed-in-tariff and it’s working even better than we had hoped.”
Today’s announcement included 184 projects throughout Ontario. Of these, 76 are ground-mounted solar, 47 are onshore wind, 46 are water power, seven are biogas, two are biomass, four are landfill, one is a rooftop solar project, and one is an offshore wind project. Significantly, 20 of the projects are spearheaded by small community groups and 16 are First Nations-led.
“Community power projects allow Ontarians to invest in and own a part of Ontario’s new green energy economy,” said Brent Kopperson, Chair of the Community Power Fund. “By granting contracts to community power projects, the government has ensured the people of Ontario can directly share the financial benefits of these renewable energy investments.”
The feed-in-tariff, a key feature of the Green Energy and Green Economy Act, has seen widespread uptake to date. Today’s announcement of larger projects adds to last month’s announcement of 510 medium-sized projects totaling 112 MW.
“This will allow farmers to both harvest and provide energy to Ontario,” said Don McCabe, Vice President of the Ontario Federation of Agriculture (OFA). “The OFA looks forward to continued momentum in renewable energy opportunity for Ontario farmers as offered by the FIT program that balances the environment and human health.”
“Ontario is the first jurisdiction in North America to demonstrate it will phase out large amounts of coal power using renewable energy, and today’s announcement shows just how quickly that can be done when you get the policy right,” said Tim Weis, Director of Renewable Energy and Efficiency for the Pembina Institute, a member of 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, and energy security, while ensuring climate protection.