It could be lights out for renewable electricity in Ontario if the province goes ahead with new rules, industry officials say.
The changes jeopardize several wind and solar projects, and is giving investors second thoughts about the province, critics said yesterday.
“They’re not only throwing the baby out with the bathwater; they’re throwing out the entire bathtub,” said Sean Whittaker, of the Ottawa-based Canadian Wind Energy Association.
“It feels like a freeze. Everything has stopped,” said Elizabeth McDonald, head of the Canadian Solar Industries Association, whose members would be hardest hit.
At issue is a program aimed at promoting alternatives to coal and nuclear power.
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The “standard offer” pays a guaranteed premium for renewable electricity that’s at least double what conventional sources receive: Solar generations get 42 cents a kilowatt-hour; the rest, 11 cents.
In a mid-May conference call, the Ontario Power Authority told the industry that it was limiting the size of projects that qualify.
Firms will be allowed to channel no more than 10 megawatts through any transformer station, and to have no more than 50 megawatts of capacity under development in the province at any time.