The race for new renewable energy production in Ontario is on. Almost two weeks ago, the province announced 184 projects were approved under the Feed-In- Tariff program.
Among the 184 projects was a 60- turbine operation destined for the waters of Lake Ontario. The project zone is a 48,000-acre lake area bordered by Kingston, Amherst Island, Prince Edward County, the U.S. border and Wolfe Island. The developer, Windstream Wolfe Island Shoals Inc., received approval to build what should be the first offshore wind energy project in Canada.
The government announcement, which also included solar and wind energy projects throughout the region, was positive — more renewable energy investments.
But there are many unanswered questions on these projects.
First off, the government doesn’t have any regulations pertaining to offshore wind projects.
It begs the question: why has the government approved a project for which it admits regulations must be created. This creates an unfair process.
The public, particularly mariners, will be keenly interested in such an operation. They must wait for answers.
Conversely, the developer, who is facing a deadline of four years to be up and running, must wait for guidelines to proceed.
Then there is a question regarding liability and ownership. Is there any property tax to be sought from the offshore project? If so, that government responsible would equally assume the liability should the project start and not be finished.
On the same day the province announced project approvals, a wind farm slated for Prince Edward County was scrapped. The government cancelled the project because the developer was bankrupt.
Will the Kingston project be protected?
We wait anxiously for the government to draft regulations for the offshore project. Given the deadline for this project, regulations should have already been in place.