TORONTO, March 22, 2012 /CNW/ - The Association of Municipalities of Ontario (AMO) believes that some of today's announced changes to Ontario's Feed-in-Tariff (FIT) program are a step in the right direction. AMO welcomes clarity on where renewable projects will not be permitted, such as on prime agricultural lands and subdivisions.
Planning approvals for renewable energy projects will remain with the Government of Ontario and that will disappoint some communities. However, AMO welcomes changes that strengthen the role of municipal governments in the project approval process.
"Changes to Ontario's FIT program should strengthen the municipal consultation process for green energy projects," said AMO President Gary McNamara. "The changes announced today should have the effect of gravitating green energy projects toward communities that support them."
A number of Ontario municipalities welcome the opportunity to lead the development and implementation of green energy initiatives. Changes to the FIT program will see projects that have municipal or community groups as partners receive higher ratings and a better chance of moving forward than those that lack support.
The changes to the FIT program capture many of AMO's recommendations and address unintended consequences that communities have experienced over the last two years. AMO's submission to the review is available at www.amo.on.ca.
Today's announcement by the Ontario Ministry of Energy follows its review to develop what industry observers have called "FIT 2.0". The Feed-in-Tariff program provides a guaranteed pricing structure and long-term contracts for producers of renewable electricity. The program is administered by the Ontario Power Authority.
AMO is a non-profit organization representing almost all of Ontario's 444 municipal governments. AMO supports strong and effective municipal government in Ontario and promotes the value of municipal government as a vital and essential component of Ontario and Canada's political system.
For further information:
Brian Lambie, AMO Media Contact, 416-729-5425, firstname.lastname@example.org