McGuinty Government Set To Double Achievements On Renewable Energy



    Ontario Power Authority Directed To Acquire Additional 2,000 Megawatts

    TORONTO, Aug. 27 /CNW/ - Ontario is moving forward to add an additional
2,000 megawatts (MW) of green renewable power, Energy Minister Dwight Duncan
announced today. The procurements that will flow from today's directive to the
Ontario Power Authority will bring the amount of renewable energy acquired by
the McGuinty government to 4,000 MW.
    "We're building a clean and green energy future that supports a healthy
electricity system and a healthy environment," Duncan said. "Since 2003, we
have reached agreements that will generate over 2,000 megawatts of green,
renewable power for Ontario families. Today, we're taking steps to double it."
    The Ontario Power Authority (OPA) will initiate consultations with First
Nations and Métis communities, the renewable energy industry, and other
stakeholders to establish timelines and to determine how the additional power
will be procured. The OPA will commence the process on procuring the first
500 MW by the end of this year. All procurements under this directive will be
for projects that are greater than 10 MW.
    "This is great news for the renewable energy sector," said Robert
Hornung, president of the Canadian Wind Energy Association. "Ontario is
already one of the leading jurisdictions for wind power in Canada, and this
will encourage additional investment in Ontario's clean and green energy
future."
    "Today's announcement will build on the positive momentum for investment
in renewable energy Ontario has already created, and ensure that we continue
to see increased investment in new renewable sources of electricity generation
for Ontario" said Dave Butters, president of the Association of Power
Producers of Ontario. "This is good news for the power sector, the economy and
our climate."
    Over the past four years, the McGuinty government has taken several steps
to increase Ontario's electricity supply from green, renewable sources:

    
    -  Signed contracts for 18 medium to large-scale renewable energy
       projects across Ontario through two Requests for Proposal that will
       generate over 1,300 MW of clean renewable energy from wind, water,
       landfill gas and biogas. This includes increasing Ontario's existing
       renewable wind energy capacity 25-fold from 15 MW to over 415 MW -
       enough power for over 100,000 homes.
    -  Launched Ontario's Renewable Energy Standard Offer Program - the most
       innovative program of its kind in North America. In the last seven
       months, over 100 contracts have been signed representing over 500 MW
       of distributed generation from renewable sources.
    -  Commenced construction on a new tunnel under the City of Niagara Falls
       using Big Becky - the world's largest tunnel boring machine. Once
       completed, the project will add an anticipated 200 MW to the grid,
       enough power for 160,000 homes.

    Taken together, these renewable energy projects and initiatives are
generating an investment of up to $4.5 billion in Ontario's economy.

    (*) A map of all renewable energy projects greater than one megawatt,
        contracted since 2003, is available at
        http://files.newswire.ca/415/Ont_Energy_2003_Eng.pdf or
        www.energy.gov.on.ca.

    Disponible en français.

                             www.energy.gov.on.ca


    Backgrounder
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

             Government of Ontario's Progress on Renewable Energy

    The McGuinty government set a target of contracting five per cent of
Ontario's total energy capacity from new renewable sources by 2007 (1350
megawatts, MW), and 10 per cent by 2010 (2700 MW). The long-term goal is to
ensure 15,700 MW of renewable generating capacity by 2025.

    To meet these targets the government has:

    -  Signed contracts for 18 medium to large-scale renewable energy
       projects across Ontario through two Requests for Proposal that
       represent over 1,300 MW of green, renewable energy from wind, water,
       landfill gas and biogas. This includes increasing Ontario's existing
       renewable wind energy capacity 25-fold from 15 MW to over 415 MW -
       enough power for over 100,000 homes.

    -  Launched Ontario's Renewable Energy Standard Offer Program - the most
       innovative program of its kind in North America. In the last seven
       months, over 100 contracts have been contracted, representing over
       500 MW of distributed generation from renewable sources.

    -  Commenced construction on a new tunnel under the City of Niagara Falls
       - using Big Becky, the world's largest tunnel boring machine. Once
       completed, the project will add an anticipated 200 MW to the grid,
       enough power for 160,000 homes.

    To make it easier for Ontario families, entrepreneurs and businesses to
embrace renewable energy, the government has:

    -  Created a Net Metering Program that provides a credit to customers who
       generate their own power from renewable sources for any excess
       electricity they put back on the grid.

    -  Invested $14.4 million to create an
       Industrial/Commercial/Institutional Solar Thermal Heat Program for
       Ontario's businesses, industries and institutions. Participants can
       receive 25 per cent of the cost of the installation of a solar thermal
       heating system from the province to a maximum of $80,000.

    -  Set a target of installing 100,000 residential solar systems in the
       province.

    -  Extended the Ontario PST rebate on renewable installations to
       January 1, 2010 to encourage the use of solar and other renewable
       technologies. The program provides a full rebate on the PST paid for
       renewable equipment used for the installation of a solar, wind, micro
       hydro-electric or geothermal system, or enhancement to an existing
       system.

    -  Launched a Pilot Financing program for Residential Renewable Energy.
       The government is providing $1.3 million over two years to two
       distribution companies so they can provide zero-interest loans to
       customers who invest in alternative and renewable energy sources such
       as small-scale wind turbines, solar thermal, solar photovoltaic, and
       geothermal systems.

    -  Announced the development of a program with Ontario's green energy
       retailers that will reward Ontarians for purchasing 100 per cent
       renewable green power.

    (*) A map of all renewable energy projects greater than one megawatt,
        contracted since 2003, is available at
        http://files.newswire.ca/415/Ont_Energy_2003_Eng.pdf or
        www.energy.gov.on.ca.

    Disponible en français.

                             www.energy.gov.on.ca
    





For further information:

For further information: Steve Erwin, Minister's Office, (416) 327-3546;
Sylvia Kovesfalvi, Communications Branch, (416) 327-4334

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