Gust of bids delays wind awards

2014_06010032London Free Press, John Miner
In a province where it’s been deeply polarizing and hugely costly, wind energy hasn’t lost its steam. So many applicants are chasing Ontario’s next round of wind-energy contracts and deals to supply solar power, the Crown coporation in charge has postponed for months decisions about who will get the business.

“It’s important that we get this right,” said Shawn Cronkwright, director of renewable energy procurement for Ontario’s Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO). The delay, coincidentally, comes as the Liberal government on Tuesday rolled out its light-on-detail strategy to fight climate change, a move driven partly by the shutdown of Ontario’s dirty coal-fired power plants that were among eastern Canada’s worst greenhouse gas producers. The closing two years ago of the coal-burning plants, including one near Sarnia, opened the door to more green energy in Ontario, including wind power — most of which is concentrated in Southwestern Ontario.

The IESO had expected to award the spoils from the next round of green energy this month or next. But after receiving a flood of multiple bids from both Canadian companies and international energy giants, the agency has changed its timetable for announcing the winners to next March. Read article

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