Ontario Liberals entrench 1,800 renewable power projects

by John Spears, Toronto Star

Ontario’s Liberal government has entrenched the legal rights of 1,800 proposed renewable energy contracts – making it impossible for a new government to cancel them.  The Liberals have changed the terms of contracts under its feed-in tariff program or FIT. Under the old system, the Ontario Power Authority, which signs the contracts with power developers, could unilaterally terminate agreements at a relatively late stage of the approval process.

But a new directive from energy minister Brad Duguid will entrench the contracts at a much earlier stage in the pipeline.

That will protect 1,800 contracts now in the pipeline from cancellation.

Collectively, the projects represent 3,500 megawatts of generating capacity, or close to 10 per cent of the province’s current total capacity.

The issue is a crucial one, since Conservative leader Tim Hudak has vowed to cancel the FIT program if the Conservatives win the provincial election on Oct. 6.

Hudak has said the high prices paid under the FIT program are “unsustainable.”

While the Conservatives would not tear up existing contracts, projects that were only part way through the approval process were vulnerable to cancellation.

Duguid said the changes will provide assurance for renewable power developers, and their suppliers, that their projects are likely to proceed.

“There’s no question Tim Hudak’s irresponsible plan to dismantle our programs and destroy our clean energy economy is something that’s creating a great deal of instability in our economy right now,” Duguid said.

Proposed projects will still have to get environmental approval, show that they’re going to meet requirements for domestic content and submit a financing plan before they can proceed.

38 thoughts on “Ontario Liberals entrench 1,800 renewable power projects

  1. Did the wind energy industry elect Premier McGuinty? The enshrinement of wind power contracts is an attempt to subvert the electoral process and prevent citizens from overturning ill-considered energy policies. It serves only business interests, not hydro consumers or rural Ontario residents. This high-handed approach to implementing energy policy is the one of the main reasons why many voters will soon show how fed up we are with the Liberals.

  2. And for some reason I’m still spitting nails!

    They are planning to establish a “a regional team of specialists to focus on the new Bruce to Milton Feed-in-Tariff projects – developers will be contacted by the ministry within three weeks of receiving their FIT contracts to begin the regulatory review process.”

    And I guess comment period from the public will be cut down to 1 day.

  3. Liberals realize they have no chance of forming the next government. This is nothing more than Liberals securing their future industry jobs post election. Some people take office equipment when they are fired…. Liberals are giving their buddies (thus themselves) a going away gift that will keep on giving for the next 20 years (at our expense).

  4. This blatant attempt to circumvent democracy may well prove to be the straw that breaks the camel’s back. Disgusting.

  5. How disgusting ! It makes one feel helpless……….democracy has been stolen . I am in shock at these people and their lying ways .Apparently we , in Ontario, require a political recall system to prevent this from happening in the future ; as greedy corporations ruin our lives for their own profit !!!

  6. Well, when McG is gone, I sure hope the rest of his entrenched burocraps are pink slipped as well.

  7. and the announcement is was only made to piss us off and fissle is out…….THE HELL WE ARE!!.

  8. Not only has McGuinty just sold Ontario ratepayers down the river, he is setting up the Liberal Party of Ontario and his fellow Liberal MPPs for a massive defeat. I imagine this move is greatly appreciated by the Liberal candidates who must now go out and face the public.

  9. There are 3 things opposition parties could do to end this insanity and gain votes… change the setbacks to a minimum of 1000 m, restore planning rights to the municipalities and put in place a moratorium until independent health and cumulative environmental impact studies have been undertaken.
    The REA as it stands is a joke, and the environmental assessment component is so weak as to be almost non-existent. No staff member at the MOE at this moment is likely to challenge or turn down a submission by a wind developer. No one from the MOE will wish to go against their employer who is determined to turn rural Ontario into an industrial energy zone even if the environment and the health of its citizens stand in the way.

    • MJ, many moons ago, and the last time our Liberal MPP was prepared to appear in public, he issued this public appeal for the community to “let the process” work itself out:
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6D03rWjGuWM
      Did he really believe the process was set up to protect his constituents?

      So it comes as no surprise to us that when his government is faced with timeline imperatives, they are prepare to subvert and change the process to accommodate their friends.

      Either Rick Johnson MPP has been lying to us or he has been played for a fool.

  10. I don’t understand. Can someone explain this to me. How could an ousted government’s promises be kept! Can’t this be challenged? Please, if anyone can explain, post a reply. Does this include Samsung?

  11. Pat,

    The PCs were going to cancel all projects that had not reached their “Notice to Proceed” through a clause in the Green Energy Act that allowed them to do that.

    The Libs changed the rules so there is no way for the contracts to be legally cancelled now. They also changed all sorts of requirements to fast track projects through.

    This is ridiculous and a disgrace to democracy and due process. People, wildlife and proper planning be damned.

  12. OK, I get that, but I just can’t wrap my head around the fact that they can just change the rules as they want to. There just has to be a way to legally fight this. Democracy is dead. we’re basically screwed if we can’t challenge this.

    • I’m in shock that they can do this without a vote, and people say Harper is a dictator and a control freak!

  13. Part of the problem with this wind energy thing is that we have not done a good job of educating rural Ontario as to the consequences of all this before we were snowed under by the snowman….Corporations will pit neighbor against neighbor in this struggle.. The people in Queens Park that are supposed to be entrusted with enriching our lives have failed us miserably…I fully believe that no matter what McGuinty and his henchmen pass in the way of irreversable legislation,, There are ALWAYS loopholes in said laws to circumvent them…it’s just a matter of money to pay the right legal people in government to get it done.Nobody knows this better than government..I’m optimistic here.. Can’t wait for election day..

  14. http://www.nawindpower.com is a great place for information on the ownwership of IWT installations. Just enter company name in Search and the latest news come up. Sky Generation now owned by Sprott Power with continuing agreement with Bullfrog Power. Macquarie Power & Infrastructure as of Apr.,2011 is Capstone Corp. Great place to follow the flips in the wind industry.

  15. Remember, these rule changes were brought in by a stroke of a pen and they can be taken out by a stroke of a pen.

  16. On the positive side, the “desperation” inherent in the Fiberals latest move certainly shows that they are truly worried about how the Election might turn-out.

    Remember: desperate people do desperate things, and this latest volley certainly fits the bill!

  17. John ..others ways to donate ?..
    Second ..the movie..WINDFALL it should be FREE to those on the fence for 2 people who have time on their hands many not want or have $20 to spend on seeing this movie..it is of no benefit for me to see the movie ..I am convinced. You want anyone and everyone to see it and the $20 for 2 people should not be an obstacle to convert new followers.

    The Liberals have somehow managed to silence many newspapers that were once anti wind lately.

    Question remains what will it take to redo all this ?

  18. A far more sensible approach to stupid green…

    http://www.nationalpost.com/opinion/columnists/Bureaucrats+offer+green+misinformation/5196314/story.html

    “One should take with a tonne of salt Environment Canada’s projection that clean technology will become the world third-largest industry within a decade. That depends on the continued ability of governments to produce subsidies on the basis of climate alarmism. However, governments are universally strapped, while alarmism is becoming less effective as it increases in hysteria.”

    Maybe EC should not be in the prediction business — but should stick to weather forecasting — not that it does not need a lot of practice there…

    • Stephen Harper is an intelligent man.
      He played the game as far as necessary.
      And, it is no longer necessary.

      Kyoto expires in a year,
      and Harper Conservatives have expressed no desire to sign on – again.
      Harper gets the U.N. boot.
      And – earns respect for Canada!

      Climate Change is a U.N. political agenda – with a mandate –
      to crumble nation sovereignty. And, there is plenty of evidence to support
      that thought.
      Look around – NGO’s planning
      Sustainable Communities” (?) – In my opinion: they look more like future ghettos.
      others have termed it – the “good enough” communities.
      Future generations will be ‘bull dozing’ – and asking, “what were they thinking”?
      and there is evidence, it is already
      happening in Michigan.

      Although Mr. Harper has taken a beating –
      from, Liberal supporting media – which supports Liberal spin
      and often – off the wall ridiculous –
      Walt Disney was a clever man in his day……………….
      “Chicken Little Style” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vnp4kj5lLOU

      Harper stood strong –
      and won a majority government.

      Ontario citizens are – energetic – freedom loving people.
      oh, I forgot to mention – intelligent……pass it on to the Lib’s.

      This election is about “Freedom”
      Join Stephen Harper
      Support Hudak!
      Vote Conservative – Oct. 6th

      • It all starts here!
        The Ontario Power Authority (OPA) – An Interesting Agency, created by the Liberals.
        Ontario citizens should take notice!

        “Our Guiding Principle—The Ontario Power Authority consults with stakeholders, including community leaders, the public, customers, associations, transmission and local distribution companies,
        OPA is building on the strengths of traditional stakeholder practices and expanding the process to include a multi-channel engagement plan which extends the traditional foundation with a breadth of views and opinions from non-electricity industry parties including the solitary consumer.
        Each and every resident of the Province is a consumer of electricity, be it in his or her home, or place of business.
        http://www.powerauthority.on.ca/the-process/stakeholder-consultation

        ………If we all agree the process sucks!……….
        Very Important Question:
        re: the proponents guiding light
        1st – Assume nothing!

        Who holds the PIC’s – Public Information Centre
        Is it the OPA?
        or, the proponent – (wind or gas)?

        Who pays for the newspaper ad?

        I’m suspicious it is – the OPA –
        and, the proponent – is only – in attendance.

        Think about it!
        Clue: Wall Huggers – The Watchers
        Clue: Look at name tags!
        Again, assume nothing!

        This is a very odd agency, and should not be ignored!

        Conclusion: Get Rid Of The OPA!

  19. I have often felt that this group with McGuinty as the lead was put in there by special interest.
    This proves it to me.
    Why would you fast track these when they know we are against them.?
    What kind of people would create more issues for people intentionally, knowingly they are done.?
    Look at Europe..civil unrest ..people taking to the streets…
    We are all trying hard to avoid this.
    This group of people seems to want to force us into submission,,or civil unrest.
    Do we have to take to the streets ? Is that what these people want us to do like Spain or Greece to get our message heard?
    We don’t want to put people at risk.
    Especially our police that would have to be at the forefront.
    They have families like we all do.
    It’s almost as they are pushing for a showdown.
    They are creating a powder keg environment.
    Rural Ontarians will not accept the GEA and will not accept not having a say in the plannimg.
    The GEA is unconstitutional in a democracy,
    Power corrupts….we have to ensure these kind of people and this party will never again sit at Queens Park.
    We also have to push to make lobbying illegal.
    We should never forget what this party is capable of and that they never get elected , ever again.
    And that comes from a former Liberal Supporter.

    ,,

  20. The answer is for Hudak to allow municipalities to tax these turbines at high rates to take away the companies’ profits and return the money to people- reimburse those with economic loss and illness etc. The Liberals cannot stop that. I cannot wait for the election.

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