Minister Smitherman announces green energy projects that will create jobs
and protect the environment
TORONTO, Jan. 23 /CNW/ - The Green Energy Act Alliance, a coalition of
leading environmental groups, industry associations, farmers, community power
and labour groups, applaud the McGuinty government's announcement of six new
wind farms in Ontario. The announcement comes while the Ontario government is
preparing a potentially world-class energy policy that could revolutionize the
energy system in Ontario, bringing significant investment and jobs to the
province's struggling manufacturing sector while ensuring our energy security
and fulfilling Ontario climate change obligations.
"This is a good indication that Premier McGuinty and Minister Smitherman
are going to continue to make good on their promise to make Ontario a global
leader in green energy," said Deb Doncaster, Executive Director of the
Community Power Fund, a founding member of the Green Energy Act Alliance. "The
true test will be what commitments are made in the upcoming Green Energy Act.
The Green Energy Act Alliance hopes the new Act will allow Ontario communities
to develop, own and benefit from green energy projects and that a system of
Advanced Renewable Tariffs will be a key principle to ensure that more of
these projects come to the province."
Awarded as part of the Renewable Energy Supply III program, the six wind
farms will create 492.1 megawatts of clean, green energy. The projects will
bring significant spinoff benefits, generating $3 million in annual lease
payments to hundreds of landowners, $1 million in annual municipal tax revenue
and over 2,200 direct and indirect jobs for the communities of Chatham-Kent,
Essex, Prince Edward County and Thunder Bay.
"These wind farms are exactly the type of green development Ontario needs
right now," said Dr. Rick Smith, Executive Director of Environmental Defence.
"It's good for the environment and even better for the economy."
The Ontario Power Authority (OPA) predicts the job creation potential for
each region to be significant. Up to 716 direct jobs are predicted for
Southern Ontario (Chatham-Kent and Essex), 308 direct jobs in North-Western
Ontario, and 108 direct jobs in South Eastern Ontario. In addition, the OPA
predicts 1,090 indirect jobs across the province in manufacturing and
professional services including engineering design, legal, accounting and real
"Wind farms are great but wind farms developed with Ontario-made wind
turbines and components are much better," said Ken Neumann, National Director
of United Steelworkers. "We are encouraged that the province is supporting the
development of more renewable energy, and we hope the province is also working
on programs that will ensure the equipment used to harness and transmit that
energy is manufactured here in Ontario. We support the province's efforts to
date, but we hope it understands that without 'buy local' incentives and
policies, much of the job creation potential of the green economy will be
About the Green Energy Act Alliance (www.greenenergyact.ca): The
Alliance's vision is to make Ontario a global leader in green energy
development through the use of renewable energy, distributed energy and
conservation, creating thousands of jobs, economic prosperity, energy
security, while ensuring climate protection. Founding groups include: the
Ontario Sustainable Energy Association, Community Power Fund, the David Suzuki
Foundation, Environmental Defence, the First Nations Energy Alliance, the Ivey
Foundation, the Ontario Federation of Agriculture and the Pembina Institute.
For further information:
For further information: Jennifer Foulds, Environmental Defence, (416)
323-9521 ext.232, (647) 280-9521 (cell); Deb Doncaster, Community Power Fund,
(416) 824-4866 (cell); Ken Delaney, United Steelworkers, (416) 544-5952