Let the wind blow free, not for profit

TORONTO, ONTARIO - Ontario's plan for offshore wind power generation has one major flaw, says the Ontario Electricity Coalition. Under current legislation, the wind that blows for free will be churned into private profit instead of at-cost electricity for the general public.

"Under the McGuinty government's Electricity Restructuring Act, enacted in 2004, our publicly owned and controlled power generator - Ontario Power Generation (OPG) - was barred from bidding on the development of new, green power generation," said coalition spokesperson Paul Kahnert. "The province is denying its citizens the right to benefit from what nature provides us.

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The many advantages of public power generation include the ability of public institutions to borrow money for new development at lower cost than the private sector. Higher borrowing costs combined with the need to make a profit mean higher electricity costs for consumers, both residential or business.

In addition, Kahnert said, public power generation can provide consumers with at-cost electricity or reinvest profits in effective conservation programs.

"Profit-making is the antithesis of conservation," he said. "If the province intends to move more quickly toward increased wind power, it must allow OPG to participate in the development of new generation projects on behalf of the people of Ontario for the benefit of the people of Ontario."



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