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No offshore wind projects in Ontario

Ontario is not proceeding with proposed offshore wind projects while further scientific research is conducted.
“We need to base any future decisions on the best available scientific data. My ministry is working with our counterparts in the U.S. on offshore wind science and research to help ensure the protection of the Great Lakes,” said Linda Jeffrey, Minister of Natural Resources.
The Ministry of the Environment said no Renewable Energy Approvals for offshore have been issued and no offshore projects will proceed at this time.  Applications for offshore wind projects in the Feed-In-Tariff program will no longer be accepted and current applications will be suspended.

The ministry reports offshore wind in freshwater lakes is early in development and there are no projects operating in North America.  The recently installed Lake Vanern pilot project in Sweden is one of the only operational freshwater offshore projects in the world and a pilot project has been proposed in Ohio.  Ontario will monitor these projects and the resulting scientific knowledge.
“We will be working with our U.S. neighbours to ensure that any offshore wind projects are protective of the environment,” said John Wilkinson, Minister of the Environment. “Offshore wind on freshwater lakes is a recent concept that requires a cautious approach until the science of environmental impact is clear. In contrast, the science concerning land based wind is extensive.”

Ontario remains committed to renewable energy.  Renewable energy is a key part of the Open Ontario Plan to create clean energy jobs while improving air quality by closing coal-fired generation.

“Wind power has quickly become an important Ontario energy source and is growing our clean energy economy, creating more good jobs for Ontarians,” said Brad Duguid, Minister of Energy. “We’ve already brought over 700 onshore wind turbines online and our Energy Plan will help us continue to build more wind power and position Ontario as a global leader in renewable energy.”

• Ontario is improving air quality by increasing renewable energy and turning off dirty coal-fired generation in 2014.
• The recently installed 10 turbine Lake Vanern pilot project in Sweden is one of the only operational freshwater offshore projects in the world. A five turbine pilot project is proposed in Ohio for Lake Erie.
• Ontario’s Renewable Energy Approvals regulation requires extensive environmental reports, public, municipal and Aboriginal consultation, as well as noise assessments.
• Ontario has already attracted more than $16 billion in private sector investment in the Green Energy sector, and over 20 companies have announced plans to set up or expand operations in Ontario.
• Ontario’s Long Term Energy Plan includes 10,700 MW of renewable energy – wind, solar and biomass – by 2018. This is equivalent to meeting the annual electricity requirements of two million homes.

• Explore Ontario’s Long-Term Energy Plan
• Learn more about Ontario’s Renewable Energy Approval
Ministry of the Environment
• Contact information for the public

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  1. Chris Keen says:

    Lorne Gunther of the National Post writes about the “growing nightmare of McGuinty’s green energy dream”. Very interesting.

  2. Doris Lane says:

    The provincial government says ” the Science concerning land based wind is extensive”. I think they are using their imagination in this regard. There has been little science envolved in land based IWT’s that is why we asked for a moritorium until such science can be done.

  3. Chris Keen says:

    Imagine the hours P.R. hacks spent writing this to put just the right spin on it! What I found particularly interesting is this: “We will be working with our U.S. neighbours to ensure that any offshore wind projects are protective of the environment,” said John Wilkinson …

    I would love to know where this comes from. We haven’t worked with the U.S. on turbines before, as far as I am aware. Could complaints from U.S. residents south of Wolfe Island have had anything to do with this? Just curious.

    Millions and millions of birds fly across Lake Ontario during the spring and fall migration. It’s gratifying that the offshore environment is now apparently on the government’s radar. It’s a pity they won’t recognize that Prince Edward Point, like Point Pelee, is a vital continuation of this offshore environment.

  4. Gary Mooney says:

    This article has been created solely from the Ontario government’s Friday-afternoon-when-everybody’s-attention-is-on-Egypt news release.

    The government has admitted that they need to take a cautious approach until they understand the environmental impacts of offshore wind.

    To date, they have not been willing to accept that they should use a similarly cautious approach regarding the human health effects of onshore wind. Hopefully, the Ian Hanna lawsuit will force them to do so.

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