Natural Resources Minister Donna
Cansfield announced today 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 near future.
"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."
Over the last year the province has taken steps to ensure decisions
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.
"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.
"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