QUEENS PARK – Politics – The new Ontario government is making key changes to increase local control over the siting of renewable energy projects. As a former Mayor and Regional Chair, I understand how important it is for communities to be involved in decision making from the beginning. Communities spoke, mayors spoke, and we listened.
Our government wants to ensure that future renewable energy projects will be built in the right place at the right time. That’s why we will replace the current Feed-in-Tariff program for large renewable energy projects with a competitive bidding process, tailored to the needs of communities.
Potential developers will be required to work directly with municipalities to determine appropriate locations and site requirements for any future large renewable energy project.
Our government will also provide funding for municipalities to develop Municipal Energy Plans. These plans will help municipalities better integrate energy, infrastructure, growth and land use planning to support economic development, increase conservation and identify energy opportunities.
Finally, we’ll work with municipalities to determine a property tax rate increase for wind turbine towers.
Russ Powers, President of the Association of Municipalities of Ontario, said last week that this announcement “gives Ontario’s municipalities a better sense of how the Province intends to approach large renewable energy projects differently, with greater local input and a focus on more willing communities.”
Ontario is committed to renewable energy – our clean energy strategy has already created 31,000 jobs, and enough clean energy to power 900,000 homes. These policy changes will give municipalities a stronger voice, more options and new tools when it comes to renewable energy projects.
Minister of Energy