By Antonella Artuso, Queen’s Park Bureau Chief Toronto Sun
Ontarians need to know exactly how provincial government contracts for wind-generated electricity will impact their hydro bills, Tory energy critic John Yakabuski says.
“I think we need full disclosure on these contracts when they’re signed with wind developers,” he said yesterday.
“My concern is that these people are not in this because they have a burning desire to save the earth or be kind to the environment. They have a burning desire to make money.”
Korean-based Samsung is the latest firm in talks with the Ontario government to produce a wind farm in the province.
On Saturday, Energy and Infrastructure Minister George Smitherman issued a joint statement with Samsung in which they expressed concern that information about their negotiations had “prematurely” become public before a final agreement had been signed.
The government’s Green Energy and Economy Act offers a feed-in tariff of about 13.5 cents per kw/h for wind power. That price — which exceeds the current cost of electricity — will become a part of future hydro bills, Yakabuski said. Wind-generated electricity will also be brought onto the grid when cheaper alternatives are available, Yakabuski said.
“We’ve actually had times this year where we’ve spilled hydraulic power … paying significantly higher prices to accommodate the wind and letting water pass by our damns at 3 cents a kw/h or less,” he said.
A Smitherman spokesman said the overall bill impact would be about 1% per annum over 15 years.