Wind subsidies gone, Samsung gone

Toronto Sun, Jennifer Bieman and Megan Stacey
The loss of 340 jobs at a factory that makes blades for wind turbines could be harbinger of troubles ahead in Ontario’s green-energy industry, a leading analyst says.

Siemens Canada announced Tuesday it’s closing its Tillsonburg plant, one of four Ontario green-energy factories set up under a controversial, multi-billion-dollar deal with Korean industrial giant Samsung.

The closing of one of the town’s largest employers came after weeks of nervous speculation.

But energy analyst Tom Adams said Ontario’s green-energy industry could be in for a rough ride if it doesn’t lay its hands on orders from outside Ontario, arguing the provincial market is saturated with wind and solar electricity brought online since the Liberal government plunged headlong into green energy in 2009.

“I think it was always pretty obvious that whatever jobs were going to arise from the Green Energy Act were all temporary or almost all temporary,” Adams said, referencing the provincial law that paved the way for big wind farms in Ontario under contracts paying energy giants more than consumers pay for power.

“Samsung had no history in renewable energy before they came to Ontario. They came only for the subsidies, and when the subsidies dry up, they’ll disappear as quick as they landed,” said Adams, an independent energy and environmental advisor and researcher. Read article

The Green Job “Joke” in Ontario

“Green Jobs” have always been a bit of a joke. Although not a very funny one.

Back in 2010 McGuinty signed a deal with South Korean company Samsung, and promised Ontarians that all kinds of employment would flow from it.

The Liberal government ended months of speculation in September when it confirmed it was in talks with Samsung about a project that could create about 15,000 jobs.

Ontario’s manufacturing sector has shed hundreds of thousands of jobs in the recession. The deal with Samsung would likely be the linchpin in McGuinty’s push for renewable sources of energy and his plan to create 50,000 jobs. CBC, 2010

The numbers were highly inflated in that press release. Even Samsung’s website could only cough up minuscule (although inconsistent) numbers.

Thanks to Samsung’s Green Energy Investment Agreement with the Government of Ontario, we are creating 9,000 jobs, kick-starting a new industry in Ontario and generate 1,369 megawatts of clean energy. Samsung Renewable Energy

Samsung and Pattern Energy’s wind power projects in Ontario are creating more than 1,000 jobs Samsung Renewable Energy, 2014

Our investments will create 900 direct renewable energy manufacturing jobs and 9,000 high-skilled jobs in Ontario. Samsung Renewable Energy, 2014

Down down down the number fell! We went from a promised 15,000 Samsung jobs in 2010, to a possible 900 in 2014? So what is the real number? I suppose nobody is really counting anymore. The fact is the province blatantly lied to the people of Ontario just so this juicy deal could be pushed through without much fuss. One would think the opposition parities would do as much as they could to investigate WHY this deal had to be made… Continue reading

Niagara region wind turbine tower plan shuts down

Chinese wind tower manufacturer TSP Canada Towers has closed its doors in Ontario. TSP invested C$25m in a 450,000-square-foot facility in Thorold in the Niagara Region, which opened in June 2012. The plant employed about 120 people, Thorold chief administrative officer Frank Fabiano told reNEWS. “It’s a tremendous loss for the community,” he said.

The company was a joint venture between Shanghai Taisheng Wind Power Equipment and British Columbia-based Top Renergy however the partnership dissolved about six months ago, said Fabiano. The most recent production run ended at the turn of the year and the staff have now been let go.

TSP has established its own team to look at options for restructuring the business. It is not known if the factory will reopen. Read article

Hydro woes spark industry exodus fears in Dufferin

jobOrangeville Banner, By Chris Halliday
The county is in danger of losing a large segment of its industrial and business base if energy prices continue to skyrocket. With dramatic electricity and natural gas hikes on the horizon in Ontario, whispers that several of the county’s larger businesses are mulling whether to move elsewhere are spreading through Dufferin.

“When you start hearing them talk about a year or two max and then moving on, that is a concern to anybody listening,” said Pete Renshaw, president of the Greater Dufferin Chamber of Commerce (GDACC). “Even if they’re just rumours of large businesses leaving.”

This isn’t a problem immune to Dufferin. Electricity rates across the province are expected to rise more than 30 per cent over the next three years. Coupled with natural gas hikes, those spiking energy costs are pitting industry in a position where some of the county’s heavy-hitters may debate an Ontario exodus. “I hear it from a CAO here, a CAO there,” Renshaw said. “We’re one of the highest, if not the highest (energy) priced province in the country,” Renshaw added. Read article

Labour war: Green energy and foreign workers

foreignThe taxpayer-subsidized green energy industry brings in temporary foreign workers

Tamsin McMahon, Macleans
When it opened for business at the site of a shuttered assembly plant in Windsor, Ont., CS Wind was hailed as an early success story for the Ontario government’s flagship green energy program, which aimed to spark a renewable resource industry in the province and create jobs for thousands of unemployed manufacturing workers.

The Korean company, which manufactures the towers used in wind turbines, is a partner in a consortium led by Samsung that promised to open factories to employ Canadians building wind turbines and solar panels. In exchange, the province agreed to buy nearly $10 billion worth of renewable energy from producers at above market-rates (later reduced to $6 billion after complaints it would drive up energy bills). CS Wind said it planned to hire as many as 500 local workers, many of them out-of-work welders, and build towers out of steel from Sault Ste. Marie.

Yet years after then-premier Dalton McGuinty toured the plant for its December 2011 opening—sitting at the controls of a specialized hoist truck and declaring that his green energy strategy was “creating good jobs for our families”— the company’s use of two dozen temporary workers from Vietnam has become a key issue in an ongoing labour dispute at the factory. Read article

Ontario’s power policies an example of what not to do

20130707-102307-gGwyn Morgan,  The Globe and Mail

The political firestorm raging in Ontario about the cost of cancelling two natural-gas-fired power plants reminds me of a conversation I had with then-premier Dalton McGuinty in 2005. At the time, I was head of Encana Corp. and we were co-chairing a Public Policy Forum event. As we chatted privately before the dinner, he said: “As a gas producer, you must be happy we’re going to close our coal-fired power plants.” I replied: “Well, it’s not a big deal in the context of our North American gas markets, but you’d better make sure those gas power plants are built before you shut the coal plants.”

Eight years later, Ontario power consumers are stuck paying $585-million for two gas-fired plants that were never built. That’s just the tip of the iceberg. Mr. McGuinty’s decision to shutter the coal-fired plants was followed in 2010 by his government’s Green Energy and Economy Act, aimed at replacing some of the coal-fired power with highly subsidized wind and solar energy while, supposedly, turning Ontario into the green power capital of North America. Read article

Green energy job claims are a farce

green jobsBy Lorrie Goldstein , Toronto Sun
It’s always good for a laugh when politicians — from U.S. President Barack Obama, to Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne — brag about green energy as a job creator. To illustrate, let’s review the number of jobs actually created by the Ontario Liberals’ green energy plan, as opposed to what they promised, while they’ve been sending our hydro bills into the stratosphere.

When ex-premier Dalton McGuinty introduced his Green Energy Act in 2009, he said it would create 50,000 jobs in Ontario by the end of 2012. But when former auditor general Jim McCarter reported on McGuinty’s green energy plan in December, 2011, he found most of those jobs — 30,000 — were in construction, lasting only one to three years.

When Energy Minister Bob Chiarelli recently announced he was dramatically scaling back Ontario’s deal with Samsung, a South Korean industrial conglomerate, to produce green energy, he downsized the Liberals’ job creation numbers, again. Now the Liberals say their Green Energy Act has produced only 31,000 jobs up to mid-2013, not the 50,000 jobs by the end of 2012 promised in 2009. Read article

Ontario to change green energy law after WTO ruling

WTOGlobe and Mail
Ontario will change a provision in its Green Energy Act requiring local content in wind and solar farms after a ruling by the World Trade Organization. Energy Minister Bob Chiarelli says Ontario intends to comply with the WTO ruling, which means the province will change its domestic content requirements for the feed-in-tariff program for wind and solar projects.

The feed-in-tariff system – established in 2009 – set lucrative fixed prices for electricity generated by renewable projects such as wind turbines and solar panels. The legislation had required participating electricity generators to source up to 60 per cent of their equipment in Ontario if they want to be eligible for generous subsidies.

Japan first complained to the WTO in 2010, arguing that the part of the province’s program requiring made-in-Ontario parts for wind and solar farms breaches international trade law. Government sources said Wednesday Mr. Chiarelli expects to have the legislation changed to comply with the WTO ruling by early next year. Read article

Canada loses trade appeal over Ontario’s green energy legislation

TORONTO — Canada has lost an appeal at the World Trade Organization over Ontario’s green energy laws. Japan and the European Union brought the case three years ago, arguing that a part of the province’s green energy program requiring made-in-Ontario parts for wind and solar farms breaches international trade law.

They argued the incentives were illegal because they discriminated against foreign firms, a complaint that was upheld by a WTO adjudication panel in December 2012. The federal and Ontario governments say they’re reviewing the decision to see what it means.

Ontario Energy Minister Bob Chiarelli says there are no plans to change the provincial legislation yet. He says it’s created tens of thousands of jobs in Ontario. “Our green energy initiatives are going to continue and they will continue to be job creators,” he said Monday. “But we are awaiting to determine the specific outcomes of that particular hearing and we will work with the federal government in our response.”

The feed-in-tariff system — established in 2009 — requires participating electricity generators in Ontario to source up to 60 per cent of their equipment in the province if they want to be eligible for subsidies. Read article

Wind power kills jobs and increases electricity costs: Report

green_jobsBy Antonella Artuso, Toronto Sun
TORONTO — Ontario’s pursuit of wind power has driven up electricity prices, is killing jobs and might even lead to more smog, a new Fraser Institute report says. Ross McKitrick, author of Environmental and Economic Consequences of Ontario’s Green Energy Act (GEA), says the Ontario government’s electricity plan is now 10 times more costly than installing pollution-control equipment on existing coal plants — an option he argues would have produced similar improvements in air quality. His analysis of the GEA concludes the province is well on its way to having some of the highest electricity prices in North America.

“Already, the GEA has caused major price increases for large energy consumers and we’re anticipating additional hikes of 40% to 50% over the next few years,” McKitrick said in a statement. “Provincial efforts to shield these industries through energy subsidy programs only transfer the costs onto Ontario taxpayers who are already dealing with skyrocketing residential electricity prices. “Overall, GEA-related energy cost increases will yield a net loss of investment and employment in Ontario, in pursuit of environmental benefits that could have been obtained at a fraction of the cost,” he said. Read article

Tory MPP says high electricity costs kill job creation

Bob-BaileyPaul Morden, Sarnia Observer
A wind energy association is disputing Sarnia-Lambton MPP Bob Bailey’s claim wind energy isn’t affordable. Bailey and Ontario’s PCs have said they will cancel the Feed in Tariff program the Liberal government has used to attract wind and other renewable energy projects to the province. “We want to return electricity generation and power generation in Ontario to be a job producer, and not a social policy to try and get people to support wind turbine-generated electricity,” Bailey said.

The Tories point to the Feed in Tariff program, and the province’s Global Adjustment charge, as causing rising electricity prices the party says harm Ontario’s manufacturing sector. “We see industry, already, taking another look at where they’re going to locate,” Bailey said. “We’ve lost a lot of industry to Quebec and our neighbours.”

Robert Hornung, president of the Canadian Wind Energy Association, said comments by Bailey and the PC’s “perpetuate the myth that wind and renewable energy is the driving force behind electricity prices increases in the province.” Read article

Ottawa appeals WTO ruling on Ontario’s green-energy plan

WTORichard Blackwell, Globe and Mail
The Canadian government has filed an appeal of a World Trade Organization ruling made in December that could derail parts of Ontario’s green energy program. The appeal notice, filed on Tuesday, asks that the WTO overturn its decision that Ontario’s program breaks international trade rules because it forces companies selling premium-priced clean energy into the province’s electrical grid to buy a proportion of their equipment and services in Ontario. Japan first complained to the WTO about those provisions in September 2010, and the European Union joined the case in August 2011. The WTO released its decision on Dec. 19, ruling against Canada on part of the complaint.

The decision said Ontario breached its obligations under the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, because the local-content requirements essentially treat imported equipment and components differently than domestic products. But it did not uphold part of the Japanese and European complaint that suggested the local content rules amount to an illegal subsidy. “We recommend that Canada bring its measures into conformity with its obligations under the … GATT,” the ruling said. Read article

MPP Steve Clark: “It’s been a disaster”

By Antonella Artuso , Toronto Sun
TORONTO – Ontario’s controversial wind and solar feed-in tariff program may be getting blown off by the World Trade Organization but Premier Dalton McGuinty’s still a fan. The FIT program has generated billions of dollars in investment and created thousands of jobs in Ontario, McGuinty said Tuesday. “So we will continue to do what it takes to stand up for economic growth and jobs here,” he said.

Ontario’s Tories, who are promising to end the FIT program, say there’s little to show for the unreliability, community discord and inflated prices that come with ramming renewable electricity projects into rural areas. “It’s been a disaster,” Tory MPP Steve Clark said.

The WTO is expected to rule shortly on a complaint by Japan that domestic content requirements in the FIT program run afoul of free trade rules, favouring Ontario-produced over imported goods. “That complaint has been made for a while and we hear that there’s a ruling that is imminent, and I’m not going to comment on a ruling that hasn’t been made,” McGuinty said.

WTO rules Ontario green energy tariff unfair

CBC News
The World Trade Organization appears to have upheld a complaint against the Province of Ontario’s green energy program.

The complaint was made by the EU and Japan, which claim the province’s “feed-in tariff” program for its energy grid discriminates against foreign component manufacturers by declaring a minimum percentage of renewable energy goods and services be provided by Ontario-based companies.

According to the Green Energy Act, wind and solar projects in Ontario made between 2009 and 2011 must contain at least 25 per cent Ontario-made content, and projects coming on-stream in 2012 must be at least 50 per cent made in Ontario.

Free trade dispute
Japan and the EU alleged such tariffs are unfair, and a hindrance to free trade. Although the WTO has yet to acknowledge any decision publicly, reports Monday suggest the affected parties have been notified of the organization’s decision to side with the complainants. Read article

WTO ruling may pull the plug on Ontario’s green energy rules

Richard Blackwell, The Globe and Mail
A crucial ruling from the World Trade Organization, expected as early as this week, could force a dramatic rethink of Ontario’s green energy policies.

The WTO will decide whether to side with complaints from Japan and the European Union that insist Ontario’s “local content” rules breach international trade law. Those rules force firms that sell premium-priced renewable energy to the province to buy a proportion of their equipment and services in Ontario. The policy, part of the province’s Green Energy Act passed in 2009, was designed to try to create a 21st-century manufacturing sector with an emphasis on renewable technology.

Reports from Europe in October suggested Ontario is set to lose on at least some of the issues in the WTO case.

If the WTO rules against the local content rules, “it would certainly have a chilling impact on green energy projects,” not just in Ontario but around the world, said Lawrence Herman, international trade counsel at Toronto law firm Cassels Brock & Blackwell. Still, he said, it is almost standard practice to appeal WTO decisions, and that would “kick it down the road for another year.” Read article

Hey Sandra — what happened to WindTronics?

WTO ruling crucial for Ontario energy jobs, says Chris Bentley

John Spears, Toronto Star
An interim trade ruling on Ontario’s local-content rules for renewable energy projects has gone against Ontario, says a Swiss-based agency. And while Ontario’s energy minister Chris Bentley wouldn’t comment directly on the report, he acknowledged that local content rules are at the heart of Liberal energy policy.

The International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development says that a panel of the World Trade Organization has said that Ontario’s local content requirement violates international trade rules. The centre says it is still an interim ruling, which has been sent to the parties involved for comment.

Japan and the European Union had complained about Ontario’s feed-in tariff rules. Under those rules, developers of renewable energy projects must source a minimum percentage of the project’s goods and services from local suppliers, in order to qualify for the energy prices paid under the program.

For example, large wind projects must have 50 per cent local content and large solar, 60 per cent under current rules. The centre for trade says that the panel has ruled that the content rules discriminate against foreign suppliers. All the parties have a chance to comment before a final ruling is made, and the final ruling can be appealed.

In an interview Monday, Bentley wasn’t yet conceding a loss. “It’s important to wait for the final report,” he said. Should the final decision go against Canada, he said Ontario would work with the federal government toward an appeal, if needed. Read article

Ontario loses WTO ruling on green energy policies: reports

Richard Blackwell, The Globe and Mail
Ontario has apparently lost a key trade challenge to its green energy policies that force companies to buy equipment from local manufacturers, according to reports out of Europe.

A reputable international trade newsletter said Monday the World Trade Organization has issued a preliminary report that agrees with Japan and the European Union, in their complaint about Ontario’s support for its renewable energy industry.

If the preliminary report stands, Ontario might have to dismantle parts of its controversial “feed-in-tariff” program that pays high prices to producers of wind and solar power, as long as they buy a certain proportion of their equipment in the province. The program was set up to try to encourage the development of a green-energy manufacturing sector in the province.

The International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development, based in Geneva, said it obtained a copy of a confidential interim WTO report, which was circulated to the parties in the case in September. A final ruling is expected in November, but the WTO seldom changes its decision from its preliminary reports.

According to the ICTSD, the WTO says the local content rules break non-discrimination rules in the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade. However, the WTO rejected the Japanese and EU argument that the local content rules amount to illegal subsidies. Read article

WTO rules GEA’s buy-local requirements violate global trade laws

By Stuart Trew And Angelo Dicaro, The Windsor Star
The embattled Green Energy Act is about to be pummelled once more, this time by the World Trade Organization. The big loser will not be the McGuinty government, but the thousands of workers who have found jobs in Ontario’s newest industry, and the very concept of sustainable development.

How the Ontario and federal governments respond to this WTO loss will be a key test of their seriousness about creating good Canadian green jobs for the future.

A preliminary WTO panel ruling in the challenge by Japan and the European Union against local content rules (“buy local” provisions) in Ontario’s landmark renewable energy policy has leaked out a month before anyone expected it. According to reports, the WTO has ruled these buy-local requirements in violation of global trade laws that forbid governments from treating imported goods less favourably than domestic goods.

Local content policies are key economic drivers the world over, including in the United States for steel, infrastructure and shipbuilding. “Buy local” is embraced in China, Korea and within the European Union. Ontario has a well-established Buy-Canadian policy for transit vehicles, as does the province of Quebec for subway cars.

In practice, even the Harper government has thrown its support behind these measures, with strictly Buy Canadian requirements for recent military procurements, despite its heated rhetoric against “protectionism.” Read article

$9 Billion in ‘Stimulus’ for Solar, Wind Projects Made 910 Final Jobs — $9.8 Million Per Job By Michael W. Chapman and Fred Lucas
The Obama administration distributed $9 billion in economic “stimulus” funds to solar and wind projects in 2009-11 that created, as the end result, 910 “direct” jobs — annual operation and maintenance positions — meaning that it cost about $9.8 million to establish each of those long-term jobs.

At the same time, those green energy projects also created, in the end, about 4,600 “indirect” jobs – positions indirectly supported by the annual operation and maintenance jobs — which means they cost about $1.9 million each ($9 billion divided by 4,600).

Combined (910 + 4,600 = 5,510), the direct and indirect jobs cost, on average, about $1.63 million each to produce.

As explained in a report by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, which is part of the U.S. Department of Energy, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (“economic stimulus”) of 2009 included Section 1603, a grant program run through the Treasury Department.

The 1603 program offered “renewable energy project developers a one-time cash payment” to reduce the need for green energy companies “to secure tax equity partners” and also help them to achieve “ ‘the near term goal of creating and retaining jobs’ in the renewable energy sector.” Read article

What ails you, Mr. Bentley?

London Free Press
I’m so sorry to hear that poor Minister Bentley is getting anxiety attacks about the rural backlash for his “wind follies” program. Perhaps he is anxious about the Zephyr wind project near Watford which is a case study in everything that can go wrong. It’s what you get when green evangelists team up with door-to-door salesmen. Nothing works.

Now relax Chris. Please sit down and answer these questions for us, the rural people who are so upset with this mess your government is making. Let’s identify the problems:

  1. The developer, Greenbreeze/Oneworld is bankrupt leaving four lawsuits filed by contractors and other parties for non-payment. The final “cost” was rumoured to be over $30,000,000 for 4 turbines, a tad high don’t you think?
    Further, on the remnants of the Oneworld website, we find, “No funds are expected to be available for secured creditors, unsecured creditors or the shareholders of Oneworld.”
    Where did the money go and who owns the project now? Oh well, who cares about the money part.
  2. One of the wind turbines (# 3) hardly ever operates. It is said to be “defective”. Apparently the foundation was poured over a rather large, fresh water spring. As a result the tower is floating on a “bubble”. Turning the blades causes it to shake and ultimately lean. Continue reading

Bentley: “People keep asking us, ‘Where are the green energy jobs?’

by Hugo Rodrigues, Brantford Expositor
Ontario Speaker Dave Levac began his day Thursday by finding Energy Minister Chris Bentley in breach of parliamentary privilege for failing to release documents. And the Brant MPP ended his day by warmly greeting Bentley to a wind turbine parts assembly plant in Brantford.

Levac’s ruling Thursday morning chided Bentley for refusing to release documents on the cancellation of two power plants in Oakville and Mississauga, but withheld any sanction until Sept. 24. At around 4 p.m., he joined Bentley for a tour of the Automodular Corp. plant on Henry Street.

“Dave spoke years ago about the job opportunities that green energy would bring…,” Bentley said after Levac introduced him to employees and company officials. Read article

Get a job with Nextera! They need help in the ethics & health departments.

Ed. Note: The last Nexterror meeting I attended a month ago was the final meeting for the Bornish Wind project near Parkhill. The project documents had already been submitted to the Ministry of Environment, so it was really all more for show than anything else. That doesn’t mean we didn’t have questions.
– We asked this Florida based company what their Crisis Line call number would be.
They didn’t have one in Ontario.
– We asked who we would be directed to if we suddenly developed tinnitus or vertigo when these machines powered up.
Oh well, one of there many staff, they guessed.
– Not a doctor?
You guys wouldn’t BELIEVE any of our doctors, they said.
– Then get us one who can help us and will believe us.
Ummmm….that’s the Ministry of Environment’s job. .

But look- Nextera has a huge list of people they want to employ for the Summerhaven Wind Project in Haldimand. I’m looking….but not finding, that “crisis line operator.” Don’t kid yourself, “CPR/First Aid Training” is for the workers, not us.

NextEra Energy Canada, ULC and H.B. White Canada Corporation are pleased to invite you to join us and learn about the job and business opportunities available for the Summerhaven Wind Energy Centre.
DATE: September 19, 2012
LOCATION: Cayuga Arena – McSorley Family Hall, 55 Thorburn Street, Cayuga, ON
TIME: 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.

We are seeking:
»» Associate Wind Site Manager
»» Associate Business Services Technician
»» High Voltage Wind Technician
»» Wind Energy Technicians
»» Cleaning Services
»» Concrete Supplier
»» CPR/First Aid Training
»» Electrical Contractor
»» Environmental Consulting
»» Equipment, Service, Training
»» Fencing Supplier Continue reading

Rural revolt zaps Samsung jobs

London Free Press, Norman DeBono
A rural backlash against industrial wind farms is delaying urban Ontario hundreds of jobs promised under the province’s $7-billion deal with Samsung.

Angry residents opposed to wind turbines are filling rural meeting halls and politicians are demanding a moratorium on future wind farms until a recently announced federal health study on turbines is completed. The fight is keeping people from working the plant floor in three communities and delaying the opening of the Samsung plant for London promised a year ago by Premier Dalton McGuinty.

“I am anxious we move on this and I have made it clear I am anxious,” Energy Minister Chris Bentley said Friday. The agreement the McGuinty Liberals cut with Samsung calls for the Korean industrial giant to open four plants in Ontario. Plants in Tillsonburg, Toronto and Windsor have opened but they’re not operating at capacity. The London plant is delayed.

Each plant is being built to serve an Ontario wind farm or solar project. When the projects are approved, the plants will be humming, said Bentley, MPP for London West. “The manufacturing facilities are all designed to serve these (Ontario) projects first and foremost,” he said. “The jobs are coming because they are all tied to the projects.”

Bentley cited “procedural delays” such as environmental reviews and “various consultations and discussions” as slowing the process. Read article

Samsung deal all fizzle, no sizzle

By Hank Daniszewski, The London Free Press
Touted on the campaign trail last fall, there are few jobs to show from Ontario’s $7-billion deal with Samsung — and none in London. In the provincial election, Premier Dalton McGuinty campaigned on his Liberal government’s deal with the Korean industrial giant to buy 2,500 megawatts of “green” power from the company at premium prices, in return for $7 billion in investment and the creation of 16,000 direct and indirect jobs.

The deal included setting up plants in London, Windsor, Tillsonburg and Toronto to make solar and wind energy components. Samsung’s Aug. 31 deadline to build the London plant has come and gone, but even the site hasn’t been announced. “The (approval) process has taken much longer than both the province and the company has anticipated,” said Peter White, head of the London Economic Development Corp., who adds there’s no timeline for construction of the plant. The other three plants are running, but Samsung officials couldn’t be reached Thursday for information about employment levels.

But Tory MPP Monte McNaughton said only about 35 people are working in the Tillsonburg plant, built in partnership with Siemens, a fraction of the 300 jobs promised. He said the Windsor plant, which was to employ 300, only has about 200 workers. “Samsung is not holding up their end of the bargain — McGuinty and (Energy Minster) Chris Bentley are ignoring this and taxpayers have been take to the cleaners,” said the Lambton-Kent-Middlesex MPP. Read article

Samsung Deal Raises Questions

CTV News: “Four new factories, thousands of spinoff jobs and 900 new manufacturing jobs – that’s what the $7-billion Samsung agreement was supposed to deliver. But as CTV London’s Cristina Howorun has uncovered in this exclusive story, very few of those promises are being kept.

Green tag new way to market Niagara

Welland Tribune
What do you get when you combine the Honeymoon Capital of the World, the Rose City and the Garden City together? The Green Energy Capital of Canada, of course.

On Thursday, in a 20-7 vote, regional council approved the Niagara region to be known as the Green Energy Capital of Canada, an idea proposed by Niagara Falls Mayor Jim Diodati. The new title will come with signs being erected at key entry ways to Niagara in a new way to market the area, said Diodati.

“It’s not the only way, but one more way to market ourselves,” he said. “There’s a lot of green energy things happening here that just aren’t on the surface.” Diodati said while the hydroelectric history of Niagara Falls is the driving factor, solar power, wind power and energy efficient companies help with the self-proclaimed title.

He referenced Cytec as an example. The company, the largest producer of phosphine products in the world, is undergoing a $150 million expansion. “They make what is used in LED lights. That’s extremely green,” said Diodati.

The name isn’t because Niagara is affected by the greenbelt legislation, Diodati said, and was chosen after months of research. Places like James Bay and Vancouver were looked at for what green initiatives they were partaking in. “We have the Great Lakes, and there are great wind opportunities because of that. We are right beside Leamington — the most southern point in Canada — and there are great sunshine opportunities because of that,” he said. “We have the waterfalls and green-energy companies want to come here.” He noted Shanghai Taisheng Wind Power Equipment Co. Ltd. announced in June plans to produce wind-turbine parts in Thorold. Read article

Green energy crown won’t fit: Larocque

By Corey Larocque, Niagara Falls Review
Niagara’s decision to crown itself the Green Energy Capital of Canada is an example of this region’s own little Napoleon Complex. One day in 1804, Napoleon Bonaparte decided to break with tradition and proclaim himself Emperor of France.

On Thursday, Niagara’s regional council voted 20-7 to crown itself the “Green Energy Capital of Canada,” a title that’s a bit of a stretch. It was a pitiful act of putting the cart before the horse. The idea originated with Niagara Falls Mayor Jim Diodati and was backed by his St. Catharines, Fort Erie and Port Colborne counterparts Brian McMullan, Doug Martin and Vance Badawey. It was panned by Wainfleet Mayor April Jeffs, Welland Mayor Barry Sharpe and Welland Coun. Peter Kormos. The Region will spend public money on highway signs announcing your arrival in the Green Energy Capital of Canada, then spend the next 10 years trying to convince people the label makes sense.

Certainly, Niagarans are proud of their century-old link with hydroelectricity. Ontario Power Generation’s Niagara Plant Group is the province’s biggest producer of hydroelectricity. But Quebec’s Robert-Bourassa and Newfoundland’s Churchill Falls plants each produce about twice as much as Niagara.

There’s an up-and-coming solar panel manufacturer in Welland and a wind farm near Wainfleet. A new Thorold company plans to make wind turbines, but a Fort Erie turbine company just closed its doors. Read article

Fort Erie wind-tower manufacturer DMI Industries to close permanently

FORT ERIE – In another heavy blow to Fort Erie, wind-turbine tower manufacturer DMI Industries -once the darling of Niagara’s fledgling green-energy industry – is closing permanetly.

The Fargo, North Dakota-based company is apparently no longer willing to keep the doors open at its Fort Erie location, which has been struggling for more than a year.

Town of Fort Erie officials were notified of the decision, Thursday afternoon. Read article

Rising electricity prices shock plastics firm

Chuck Howitt, Guelph Mercury
WATERLOO REGION — Bill Mechar first noticed something was amiss when he received his electricity bill for December. The co-owner of Integrated Packaging Films near Ayr was looking forward to a lower charge than the previous month after the plant was shut down for a 10-day Christmas holiday. But when the bill arrived in January, Mechar couldn’t believe his eyes. “Our kilowatt hours were down considerably, but our bill went up from the previous month, which makes no sense.”

When he began digging into the issue further, he was alarmed to discover his hydro costs had been rising sharply since 2009. Integrated makes plastic sheeting out of used water bottles, pop bottles and other products made of PET plastic. Suppliers grind down the bottles into plastic flakes or pellets, and ship them to Integrated where they are melted in two giant extruders and shaped into large rolls of plastic film. The film is sold to customers in Canada and the U.S. who reshape it into plastic trays and containers for food products and plants.

Large and noisy, the 300 horsepower extruders are the main hydro users in the plant. In a recycling industry where margins are thin, they must run 24 hours a day seven days a week for the company to make a profit, says Mechar. Shutting them down for part of the day to save hydro costs is not an option, he says. Efforts to cut his bill through other means such as installing energy-efficient lighting resulted in minimal savings of about 10 per cent.

Mechar estimates his hydro costs have risen by 50 per cent since 2009. Last month, his electricity bill came to $53,000 and if rates don’t go down soon, his annual bill will top $600,000. read article