Canada Strengthens Renewable Energy System

The Canadian McGuinty government is increasing the amount of wind, solar, biomass and waterpower used to power Ontario’s electricity grid with 22 new renewable energy projects awarded through the Standard Offer Program (SOP), Canadian Energy Minister Dwight Duncan announced.

The 22 projects are the first awarded under Ontario’s Renewable Standard Offer Program (SOP), which allows small, renewable electricity generators under 10 megawatts (MW) to supply energy to the grid. The program is expected to add 1,000 MW of clean energy to the grid over the next ten years. The contracts represent a capital investment of some $336 million and involve four renewable “fuels” — solar, waterpower, biomass and wind. They range in size from a 3-kilowatt (kW) residential solar photovoltaic installation to a 10 MW wind farm. Total capacity for the first group of contracts will be more than 140 megawatts. “We are pleased to see these projects move forward,” said Paul Shervill, VP of the Ontario Power Authority with responsibility for administering the Standard Offer Program. “There has been broad interest from across the province, including proposals representing all approved fuel types and engaging a selection of local distribution companies.” In addition to the first 22 contracts, a further 58 applications have been submitted — contracts will be awarded as they are evaluated. As part of the application process, each project has demonstrated the commencement of the environmental screening process, if required. All Standard Offer contracts are contingent on municipal and environmental approvals.
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