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Ont. gives green energy price guarantee

Ontario will cover the total cost and provide "a reasonable rate of return" for investments in green energy projects through decades-long contracts with fixed electricity prices. The government said it is the first program of its kind in North America. ..."They're going to fast-track wind turbines ... without looking at the health related issues, and that ought to be a concern of everyone," he said.

Ontario will cover the total cost and provide "a reasonable rate of return" for investments in green energy projects through decades-long contracts with fixed electricity prices.

The government said it is the first program of its kind in North America.

Solar, wind, water, biomass, biogas and landfill gas producers, including individual homeowners, will all be eligible to sell their power to the provincial grid under the program, one of the four final components of the Ontario Green Energy Act announced by Premier Dalton McGuinty Thursday.

The other components include:

•A requirement that wind turbines be located at least 550 metres from residential homes - farther away than anywhere else in Canada, the United States and eight European countries.

•A requirement that at least 25 per cent of the goods and labour for Ontario wind projects and 50 per cent for solar projects come from Ontario.

•The establishment of an office to help developers, communities and municipalities get the required approvals for their green energy projects.
"Ontario wants green energy business," said Energy Minister George Smitherman in a statement. "These regulations will help ensure industry and... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  

Ontario will cover the total cost and provide "a reasonable rate of return" for investments in green energy projects through decades-long contracts with fixed electricity prices.

The government said it is the first program of its kind in North America.

Solar, wind, water, biomass, biogas and landfill gas producers, including individual homeowners, will all be eligible to sell their power to the provincial grid under the program, one of the four final components of the Ontario Green Energy Act announced by Premier Dalton McGuinty Thursday.

The other components include:

•A requirement that wind turbines be located at least 550 metres from residential homes - farther away than anywhere else in Canada, the United States and eight European countries.

•A requirement that at least 25 per cent of the goods and labour for Ontario wind projects and 50 per cent for solar projects come from Ontario.

•The establishment of an office to help developers, communities and municipalities get the required approvals for their green energy projects.
"Ontario wants green energy business," said Energy Minister George Smitherman in a statement. "These regulations will help ensure industry and municipalities that jobs will be created, investment is committed and that the renewable energy industry grows across the province."

The act is already law, having gained royal assent in May, which means most of the new rules went into effect as soon as they were announced.

The government predicts that the entire Green Energy Act will generate 50,000 direct and indirect jobs in Ontario.

Solar array ban on farmland

The feed-in tarriff program will offer 20 and 40 year contracts and guaranteed prices of 10.3 cents per kilowatt-hour for landfill gas projects larger than 10 MW to 80.2 cents per kWh for residential solar rooftop projects 10 kW or smaller.

However, the regulations will ban all except very small ground-mounted solar arrays (100 kilowatts or less) in the two highest-quality classes of farmland or in designated specialty crop areas. Solar farms of up to 500 megawatts will be allowed on lower-quality class 3 lands, allocated on a regional basis.

Individual homeowners and businesses will be eligible to participate, but a bonus will be paid for aboriginal and community projects to encourage participation. The Ontario Power Authority will start taking applications on Oct. 1, 2009, and expects to sign the first contracts in early December.

Wind rules get mixed reviews

The new rules about the location of wind turbines are part of the renewable energy approval process that became law Thursday. Wind farms with six or more wind turbines or certain types that are considered noisier must be located even farther from homes than 550 metres.

Exceptions to the rules will be made for turbines located near an existing source of noise such as a highway.

Some residents had lobbied the government for stricter rules, complaining that the noise and vibration generated by the turbines cause health problems. However, the wind energy industry has said there is no evidence in peer-reviewed science journals that wind turbine noise causes adverse health effects or bothers people as much as other sources of noise.

Premier Dalton McGuinty said Thursday that the new rules concerning wind turbines will be the toughest in North America but "will not unreasonably deter new investment, so that we can together create jobs in this new green economy."

Bart Geleynse, managing director of Prowind Canada, said the rules won't affect his company's plans to build a wind farm in the village of North Gower, which is now part of Ottawa's southern outskirts.

"We were placing wind turbines that distance away from homes in any case," he said.

But Glen Brooks, Ottawa city councillor for the ward that includes North Gower, said some European countries require 1.5 kilometres between wind turbines and homes. He argued that studies supporting Ontario's new setback distances have not yet been done.

"They're going to fast-track wind turbines ... without looking at the health related issues, and that ought to be a concern of everyone," he said.


Source: http://www.cbc.ca/consumer/...

SEP 24 2009
https://www.windaction.org/posts/22334-ont-gives-green-energy-price-guarantee
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