For the energy sector in Ontario, “all signs are good,” says Mergen Reddy, global director for Hatch Management Consulting, in Mississauaga, Ontario.
Mr. Reddy made the comment a few days after presenting an independent study of the impact of the Green Energy Act in Ontario at the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto.
It was also days after the Ontario government announced it has entered into an agreement with Samsung C&T and the Korea Electric Power Corporation to invest $7 billion in renewable wind and solar power generating clusters throughout the province. The green energy investment is said to be the largest of its kind in the world, and it will triple Ontario’s output from wind and solar.
By 2016, according to the agreement, wind turbines will have been built to generate 2,000 MW and solar power facilities to generate 500 MW. Their combined output will be 2.5 GW, representing 4% of Ontario’s total electricity consumption.
The first stage of the Samsung/Kepco project will be a 400 MW wind and a 100 MW solar plant to be built in the Chatham-Kent and Haldimand County regions of Southern Ontario.
The Korean consortium has said it will build production facilities in Ontario for components such as wind towers, blades and solar modules. Samsung will oversee the entire process of establishing the clusters, and procuring equipment and financing. Kepco will design the transmission and distribution system, and operate the facilities.
There is no word yet whether Samsung/Kepco will be requiring help from consulting engineers in designing the facilities.
The Ontario government has agreed to pay Samsung/Kepco a premium on the electricity produced by its plants, which has led to complaints by the local renewable energy manufacturers that they were getting unfair treatment.
Reddy suggests that Ontario’s Green Energy Act has reduced uncertainty and made investing in renewable energies in Ontario a better choice for manufacturers.
Meanwhile, British Columbia is vying with Ontario to become the leading green power province. In an article in the Globe and Mail on January 20, Blair Lekstrom, B.C.’s Energy Minister, said: “I look at the clean energy sector as the oil and as sector of the future. We are going to take British Columbia and become a green-energy powerhouse, not just in Canada, but in North America.”