A bold new Canadian energy strategy

Posted by Admin on July 26, 2012

Premiers Dalton McGuinty and Alison Redford united with the other first ministers at the Council of the Federation this week in Halifax. Both now agree that a Canadian energy strategy is a good idea for the country.

The last time the Council of the Federation came together on energy, five years ago, they agreed to pursue efficiency and conservation, expanded R&D for clean-energy research, and more renewable, green and cleaner energy sources. They also agreed that any energy plan should seek to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions.

At the moment, our country’s economy is growing increasingly dependent on natural resources. They are abundant, today’s world needs them, and we rely on them for jobs. But the world is changing, and Canada must change with it.

A Clean Energy Accord among provinces could help transition Canada to a global 21st century energy system. This Council of the Federation may go down in history as the meeting where the first ministers took the first steps, together, toward this better future.

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Province of Ontario Sued for $100 Million

Posted by Admin on July 16, 2012

The SkyPower Group, Canada’s largest solar energy firm, is planning on suing the province for $100 million. They are laying the lawsuit over charges that the McGuinty government made to the energy program.

The firm applied to build over one hundred projects that should have been completed this past April, but the province announced price changes and new criteria for approval of projects. SkyPower believes the changes are unreasonable and would cost them a lot of these projects. They want the government to reconsider the changes, for their projects to work under the old rules. If that fails to happen, the company will sue for $100 million in damages. The hearing has been set for July 24th.

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London Prototype Solar Farm

Posted by Admin on July 13, 2012

London Hydro is the electricity utility provider for the City of London and surrounding areas. The company has been exploring ways to integrate more renewable energy sources into the grid. Solar farms are idle at night and only partially utilized during the day. The research activities with Western University have led to the development of a prototype that will be demonstrated for the first time in Canada in December 2012 at a 10-kilowatt solar farm. More information is available at www.londonhydro.com.

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Revision of the FIT Program

Posted by Admin on July 11, 2012

The Ontario Minister of Energy initiated a directive for the Ontario Power Authority to revise the FIT and microFIT rules and go forth in implementing the programs. Click here to read this directive.

Over the next week or so, the OPA will be revising the rules which will be posted with the new edition of the contract form. The government will instruct the OPA to issue and approve the microFIT contracts, then let in a window of smaller FIT projects (under 500 kW). Larger FIT projects are anticipated to commence in early 2013. The announcement from the provincial government is expected shortly.

Ontario’s New Electricity Incentive Program

Posted by Admin on

Last month, the Industrial Electricity Incentive Program was introduced by the Ontario Ministry of Energy with the intention to create more local jobs in the industrial sector. Starting next January, eligible companies would receive reduced electricity rates if they create new jobs and bring in new investments to Ontario. These new companies and businesses would be able to receive contracts for up to 20 years for power costing $55 per mWh, instead of the current rate of about $75 per mWh.

The companies would be able to apply to two streams; stream 1 being for companies looking to create new operations in Ontario (making a minimum investment of $25 million) and stream 2 being available to companies with established projects and operations in Ontario with the condition that they expand their current operations. This program would not affect electricity rates for regular consumers.

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Ontario Provincial Budget has Passed

Posted by Admin on June 21, 2012

The provincial budget was finally passed, and the threat of election has been lightened this week in Ontario. After a week of heated arguments between Premier Dalton McGuinty and Andrea Horwath, amendments to the initial budgets were made, and the revised budget was passed. The revision included the wealth tax on the people who make over $500, 000 a year which was surprisingly supported by the Conservative party.  This tax was supported by 78% of people in a Forum Research poll taken this April.

Hudak, the leader of the Conservatives, aimed to achieve a budget that could boost job growth and cut down at the $10 billion debt that Ontarians have accumulated.  This new budget is relevant to all fields of business in Ontario. Last May, there was a sudden halt in the microFIT process. Now that there is no threat of election anytime soon, the microFIT program is here to stay and should continue to prove itself as a beneficial and “green” movement.

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CGC Contacts McGuinty to Suspend Regulation 0.98/12

Posted by Admin on June 20, 2012

The Canadian GeoExchange Coalition wrote to Dalton McGuinty, the premier of Ontario, for an immediate suspension of the new Regulation 0.98/12. One company has recently laid off 30 members of their team, and will be forced to lay off more employees. Companies all across Ontario in the geothermal field will see the same results soon. The regulation dampens Ontario’s green energy industry and hurts small business pertaining to the geothermal field.

The regulation requires companies to apply for an approval entitled the Environmental Compliance Approval, as stated in the revised Environmental Protection Act. This process would take a minimum of 45 days, meaning all new projects will be on hold until at least the end of August. This is very similar to Ontario’s FIT program, which is now on hold due to OPA delays. “Green” companies are at a risk of bankruptcy and the layoffs have begun.

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Ontario: Canada’s Greenest Province

Posted by Admin on June 11, 2012

The province of Ontario has been named Canada’s greenest province in the most recent Green Provincial Report Card released by the Corporate Knights. This report card assessed provinces on their performance in 7 different categories: air and climate, water, nature, transportation, waste, energy, and innovation. Our province earned the highest grade in this year’s report card.

The province was acknowledged on their reduction of green house gas emissions and their phasing out of coal-fired electricity generation. Ontario also introduced the proposal of the Great Lakes Protection Act this week which would ensure cleaner lakes for future generations. The McGuinty government is focused on protecting Ontario’s air, land, and water as well as enhancing quality of life for Ontario families and to ensure a strong and eco-friendly economy.

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Samsung and Pattern to Build 250 MW Plant in Ontario

Posted by Admin on June 4, 2012

Samsung Renewable Energy Inc and Pattern energy Group LP announced their plans on building a 250 MW PV plant in Ontario. Construction of this plant is expected to begin in September, and will be operational by the spring of 2014. The two companies are currently awaiting approval for their application from the province.

Samsung has plans to install 2.5 gigawatts of solar panels in Ontario over five phases. To date, three of the facilities have been opened. The solar energy products produced will be used both in Samsung’s projects and exported globally.

Samsung is investing a total of CA$7 billion in Ontario. As the spokesperson explained, all project financing is being arranged by Samsung and its partners, under the conditions of its Green Energy Investment Agreement, signed with the Government of Ontario in January, 2010.

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Sault Ste. Marie Solar Project Completed

Posted by Admin on May 30, 2012

Starwood Energy Group has announced the completion of their 69mW solar PV project in Sault Ste. Marie, ON. This project consists of over 300 thousand Q. CELLS Q. BASE modules across their three sites. Q.CELLS North America was the supplier of solar panels and other materials, engineer, and construction manager and built all three phases for solar power with a fixed budget and a turn-key method.

David Orazietti, MPP for Sault Ste. Marie, stated that Ontario is an innovative leader of North America’s renewable, ans specifically solar energy movement. He argues that using solar energy projects created local jobs, helped the local economy, and significantly improved the environment. Their community saw almost $1 billion in renewable energy investments in recent years.

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