Article

Province sets prices for renewable energy

Whether produced by the elements or from cattle's backsides, more "wind" will soon be harnessed to heat and light Ontario homes.

That's the prediction of green energy proponents after the province set rates yesterday aimed at encouraging small suppliers of electricity for the provincial energy grid.

Premier Dalton McGuinty and Energy Minister Donna Cansfield said the province will pay 11 cents a kilowatt hour for power derived from windmills, bio-gas operations and hydro-electric projects.

A 42-cent rate applies to energy produced by more costly solar power.

Agreements for as long as 20 years will be offered to facilities that produce no more than 10 megawatts of electricity, an amount able to heat and light about 3,250 homes.

The first ongoing support directed at small producers, it was hailed by wind and bio-gas producers in the London region as groundbreaking.

"They just moved our province light years ahead of everybody else," said Nils Semmler, president of Rentec Inc., whose technology is turning cattle manure into electricity at the Clandeboye-area farm of Phil Lynn.

That farm is a pioneering effort and will produce its first electricity this year from the 5,500-head cattle operation and sell its excess to the Municipality of North Middlesex.

Semmler said he was pleased at the price announcement.

"What that... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  
That's the prediction of green energy proponents after the province set rates yesterday aimed at encouraging small suppliers of electricity for the provincial energy grid.

Premier Dalton McGuinty and Energy Minister Donna Cansfield said the province will pay 11 cents a kilowatt hour for power derived from windmills, bio-gas operations and hydro-electric projects.

A 42-cent rate applies to energy produced by more costly solar power.

Agreements for as long as 20 years will be offered to facilities that produce no more than 10 megawatts of electricity, an amount able to heat and light about 3,250 homes.

The first ongoing support directed at small producers, it was hailed by wind and bio-gas producers in the London region as groundbreaking.

"They just moved our province light years ahead of everybody else," said Nils Semmler, president of Rentec Inc., whose technology is turning cattle manure into electricity at the Clandeboye-area farm of Phil Lynn.

That farm is a pioneering effort and will produce its first electricity this year from the 5,500-head cattle operation and sell its excess to the Municipality of North Middlesex.

Semmler said he was pleased at the price announcement.

"What that means to renewable energy -- and bio-gas in particular -- it now makes projects bankable," Semmler said. With assured income, bankers are more likely to lend to smaller producers, he said.

Lynn, whose operation will produce about one megawatt, predicted the price set by the province will trigger development of more bio-gas projects.

"This will change the complexion of how energy is produced," he said. "It may just start in Ontario and trickle through elsewhere."

"It's a cornerstone for all renewable fuels," said Lynn.

At the Ontario legislature, New Democrat leader Howard Hampton denounced the pricing plan as "a Liberal letdown of megawatt proportions."

He said the government is still planning to rely on major new investment in nuclear energy and the encouragement for renewable energy is "paltry" in comparison.

But praise for the price to be paid to producers came yesterday from Countryside Energy Co-Operative, developing small windfarms near Kincardine, Milverton and Goderich.

"It's a landmark day for Ontario," said Countryside general manager Doug Fyfe. "We reckon the rest of North America is going to follow the lead of Ontario."

The contract plan was adapted from Europe, where many new rural jobs have been created and Fyfe predicted the same result in wind-favoured western Ontario.

"It's going to be good for us all," he said.

The Ontario Sustainable Energy Association welcomed the province's move, calling it "community power."

"Community power has been shown to bring five times the jobs and investments to a local community than projects owned by outside companies," said Deborah Doncaster, the group's executive director.


Source: http://lfpress.ca/newsstand...

MAR 22 2006
https://www.windaction.org/posts/1814-province-sets-prices-for-renewable-energy
back to top