Ontario lifts deferral on offshore wind projects

TORONTO, ONTARIO - Natural Resources Minister Donna Cansfield announced that the Ontario government has lifted the deferral on existing proposals for offshore wind power projects and will be accepting new onshore and offshore applications for Applicant of Record status in the coming year.

“This government is committed to developing clean, renewable sources of energy so Ontarians will have a sustainable supply of power now and in the future,” said Cansfield. “Offshore applications we’ve received to date will be processed, and we are preparing to accept new applications for both onshore and offshore developments.”

“We are moving to build a clean, reliable system and a healthy environment by making clean energy a priority. Clean energy projects also bring important economic benefits to the province. That is why we have set a goal of doubling Ontario's renewable energy supply to 15,700 MW by 2025,” said Minister of Energy Gerry Phillips.

"This is good news for the wind energy industry in Ontario," said Robert Hornung, president of the Canadian Wind Energy Association. "While Ontario still has significant opportunities to develop on-shore wind energy projects, today’s decision opens the door to exploring the development of Ontario’s vast off-shore wind energy potential.”

All applicants must undergo a review to ensure preliminary requirements are met before they can be awarded Applicant of Record status, which allows them to pursue the approvals required to construct and operate a wind power facility. All proposed facilities must go through an environmental assessment.

Over the last year the province has taken steps to ensure decisions on applications for onshore and offshore wind power development are based on the best available information. These steps have included:

• Partnering with the U.S. National Renewable Energy Laboratory to evaluate offshore wind potential in the Great Lakes

• Analyzing lakes Erie, Huron and Ontario, including depth, wind speed and other social and ecological values

• Developing wind power guidance documents for birds and bats

• Establishing a partnership with Bird Studies Canada, the Canadian Wind Energy Association and Environment Canada’s Canadian Wildlife Service to set up a common database for monitoring wind power’s impact on birds and bats.

“The information we have acquired will help us and wind developers make better-informed decisions on offshore wind power projects,” said Cansfield. “Development of new sources of renewable energy has a crucial role to play in helping to reduce the impact of climate change.”


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