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Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Renewable Energy Approval Requirements for Off-shore Wind Facilities - An Overview of the Proposed Approach

From the Ontario Environmental Bill of Rights Registry:

The Green Energy and Green Economy Act, 2009 was passed in the Legislature on May 14, 2009. The Act places priority on expanding Ontario’s use of clean and renewable sources of energy including wind, water, solar, biomass and biogas power. Developing these renewable resources is a cornerstone of Ontario’s future prosperity and the government’s plan to combat climate change and phase out coal. As a key pillar in supporting the development of Ontario’s green economy, the Ontario government introduced O. Reg. 359/09 (Renewable Energy Approvals under Part V.0.1) made under the Environmental Protection Act, on September 24, 2009. This regulation offers an approach to regulating renewable energy generation facilities that is based on transparency and clear, up-front provincial rules, while ensuring that the environment and human health are protected.

Off-shore wind facilities are classified as Class 5 wind projects and are subject to the Renewable Energy Approval (REA) regulation. Partner ministries are working together to provide greater certainty and clarity on off-shore wind requirements. The Ontario government is proposing an approach and is seeking input from interested members of the public, early in the process, to inform the work that will be completed to finalize the approach and the off-shore wind specific requirements under the REA regulation. This approach will also be supplemented by the outcome of research underway by the Ministry of the Environment, Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR), and Ministry of Tourism and Culture and will be the subject of subsequent Environmental Registry postings that will outline requirements for off-shore wind development as proposed amendments to O. Reg. 359/09 and the REA process.

In addition to this approach to off-shore wind projects, the MNR is undertaking a phased review of Ontario’s current process for making Crown land available for renewable energy projects. The Crown Land Renewable Energy Policy review, Phase 1 was posted on the Environmental Registry on December 22, 2009 for a period of 45 days and proposed procedural alignment changes to ensure that the site release process better supports the green energy initiative. The second phase of this review will include consideration of where, when and how the Government makes Crown land available for off-shore wind projects. Once developed, the Crown Land Renewable Energy Policy review, Phase 2 will be made available for review and comment on the Environmental Registry. For information on the Crown Land Renewable Energy Policy review, Phase 1, see the Environmental Registry posting #010-7895.
 
More information on the Renewable Energy Approval can be found at business/green-energy.
 
Public Consultation:
This proposal has been posted for a 60 day public review and comment period starting June 25, 2010. If you have any questions, or would like to submit your comments, please do so by August 24, 2010 to the individual listed under "Contact". Additionally, you may submit your comments on-line.

All comments received prior to August 24, 2010 will be considered as part of the decision-making process by the Ministry of the Environment if they are submitted in writing or electronically using the form provided in this notice and reference EBR Registry number 011-0089.

Please Note: All comments and submissions received will become part of the public record. You will not receive a formal response to your comment, however, relevant comments received as part of the public participation process for this proposal will be considered by the decision maker for this proposal.