February 22, 2009

Ontario to fast-track wind turbine projects

CANADA/ENVIRONMENT - Ontario municipalities will lose the power to decide how close wind turbines can be to residential properties and environmentally sensitive areas under proposed green-energy legislation being tabled Monday.

The new rules, a blow to NIMBYism (NIMBY = Not In My Back Yard), will also ensure that developers of wind and other renewable-energy projects get construction permits within six months.

It's all part of Ontario's plan to streamline approvals for such projects, create certainty for developers and attract more investments that will create green-collar jobs in the province – more than 50,000 jobs over three years.

Energy and Infrastructure Minister George Smitherman, speaking yesterday at the Toronto Board of Trade, said the patchwork of municipal guidelines that has evolved over the years has created a cumbersome process for energy developers. He compared it to the patchwork of municipal rules regarding public smoking before the province created an Ontario-wide standard. Similarly, the proposed Green Energy Act will create a provincial standard for wind turbine sites and a "one-window, one-permit" approach to approvals.

"I see municipalities grappling, struggling, with how to balance the desire of local wind proponents against the desire of some local residents," Smitherman said in an interview. "A patchwork quilt is not the best way forward."

The setback distance for turbines – how far they must be from a home – will be determined through consultation with the public and the environment ministry. Possible distances will be discussed next week.

Other items expected to be in the proposed legislation:

The province's Standard Offer Program, which sets standard pricing for electricity from small renewable energy projects, has been scrapped. It will be replaced by a more ambitious program that accommodates wind, biomass, hydroelectric and solar projects.

Homeowners will soon have access to direct grants and low-interest loans to help pay for technology and appliances that make their homes more energy efficient.

New policies will support co-operatives of farmers, homeowners and businesses that want to invest in renewable-energy projects.

The province will also stimulate development of offshore wind farms on the Ontario side of the Great Lakes with the aim of pursuing power-purchase contracts with developers.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Comments containing links will be marked as spam and not approved. We moderate every comment. If you want to advertise on this blog it is $30 per link.

Affordable Website Design & SEO

Looking for a quality professional website designer? Why not go where the smart money is?! Toronto Website Design and Toronto SEO. Get free SEO advice from people who really know the business.

Featured Posts

The Sarcasm Symbol
Ever had some confusion online or with your cellphone when someone fails to catch the sarcasm? Well now with the SarcMark you can ge...
Behold, the Scorpion Hydrogen Supercar
CARS - To the right is the future of supercars... it is a hydrogen supercar called the Scorpion. The Scorpion from Ronn Motors in Texas is t...
Documents show Stephen Harper misusing public funds
CANADA - According to 950+ pages of documents obtained by the Canadian Press under the Access to Information Act the Privy Coun...
Pink's Rosie the Riveter
ENTERTAINMENT - What I like about this video is how it meshes different social movements like feminism, veganism, anti-capitalism...
California's Dustbowl
ENVIRONMENT - The photo on the right is a farm in California that has been put up for sale. Its just one of thousands of farms that are n...
Is Steampunk the New Goth???
GOTHIC - Watch out what you see on the subway late at night because while in 2001 you might have seen some pretty freakish goths, by 20...
Do you have enough Ice Water in your diet?
HEALTH - A Calorie (large C) is a measurement of the amount of energy needed to raise the temperature of a litre of water (1 kg's worth) ...
North Korean timeline towards Inevitable War
POLITICS - The following is timeline of events that have occurred on the Korean Peninsula. 1945 - Japan surrenders to the United States a...
Judgment Day is Tomorrow, so sayeth Cult
RELIGION - According to a cult based in California, Judgement Day is tomorrow (May 21st 2011) and Jesus Christ will return to the Earth a...
Sex in Space Forbidden
SEX/TECHNOLOGY - Sex in outer space is a big no-no according to NASA. Not for professional astronauts at least, but the growing numb...

Popular Posts