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Ontario suspends program for large renewable energy projects


Ontario has called an immediate halt to its procurement of large renewable energy and energy-from-waste programs.

In a press release on September 27, the province said it will immediately suspend the procurement of over 1,000 MW of solar, wind, hydroelectric, bioenergy and energy from waste projects. These were part of the second round of its LRP II) process.

The government is justifying the decision on the basis that it will “save up to $3.8 billion in electricity system costs relative to Ontario’s 2013 Long-Term Energy Plan forecast.” It says, this will “save the typical residential electricity consumer an average of approximately $2.45 per month on their electricity bill, relative to previous forecasts,” and points out, “No additional greenhouse gas emissions are being added to the electricity grid.”

The press release goes on to read as follows:
“On September 1, 2016, the Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) provided the Minister of Energy with the Ontario Planning Outlook, an independent report analyzing a variety of planning scenarios for the future of Ontario’s energy system. The IESO has advised that Ontario will benefit from a robust supply of electricity over the coming decade to meet projected demand.

“Informed by the Ontario Planning Outlook, consultations and engagements will begin this fall with consumers, businesses, energy stakeholders and Indigenous partners regarding the development of a new Long-Term Energy Plan, which is scheduled to be released in 2017. As part of this plan, Ontario remains committed to an affordable, clean and reliable electricity system, including renewables.

“Ontario has established itself as a North American leader in clean energy development, attracting billions of dollars in private sector investment and generating over 42,000 jobs in the clean technology sector. The province has about 18,000 MW of wind, solar, bioenergy and hydroelectric energy contracted or online and the electricity supply is now over 90 per cent emissions-free.

At the end of 2015, Ontario’s installed wind capacity represented almost 40% of all installed wind capacity in Canada. The province is also home to 99% of all installed solar photovoltaic capacity in Canada.

To read the press release, click here.


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2 Comments » for Ontario suspends program for large renewable energy projects
  1. John Forde says:

    Brilliant move by vote motivated politicians… each household will save a whole $30 a year! A family of 4 might be able to dine at the Golden Arches for that!

    A quick inspection of a typical Ontario utility bill will show that the actual cost of the electricity is much smaller than the transmission, distribution, and regulatory costs (my July bill shows the power cost to be only 37% of my ‘total electricity charges’). Our power system is relatively old and is gradually being updated, as expected, and we all have to pay our share of the costs.

    The government announcement doesn’t mention that 1000’s of skilled workers will have to be laid off. This will have a huge ripple effect throughout Ontario, from lost tax revenue, to lost revenue for the many community businesses that served those workers!

    In a recent email that I received from Toronto Hydro, I saw that by shifting dishwasher usage to off-peak hours (7:00pm to 7:00am), people can save about $2.50 a month. Bravo, a simple solution that doesn’t put people out of work or already struggling solar design and installation companies out of business. My example may be an oversimplification, but so is this thoughtless solution to lowering Ontarians’ Hydro bills. I suggest that this is a knee jerk political decision, to sway voters who are upset with their rising bills. It is yet one more example of the reason I got out of the solar business… government mismanagement of what could have been an excellent renewables development program!

    John C. Forde, P.Eng
    Electrical Engineer

  2. Richard Annett says:

    Total disaster of an idea. Should keep the industry progressing through the transition not starting and stopping all the time. Really poor management.

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