TORONTO – Municipalities can get green energy projects faster if they want them but still can’t say no if they don’t under new Feed-In-Tariff program rules, Energy Minister Chris Bentley announced Thursday.
“We’ve listened very carefully about where to locate these projects,” Bentley told a crowd of green energy advocates and industry players at Ryerson University.
The long-anticipated FIT review, which also slashed FIT subsidies from renewable energy as expected, will give priority to any project that can show it has local support, Bentley said.
There will also be 10% of capacity that are set aside for projects with “significant Aboriginal involvement.
Local opposition – especially to industrial-size wind farms – devastated the governing Liberals’ rural caucus and left the party with a minority government.
Progressive Conservative MPP Vic Fedeli said the changes will not satisfy rural communities who wanted more ability to say no.
“This doesn’t fix the real problem,” Fedeli said. “It still removes the public’s venue away.”
On the price side, the Ontario Power Authority will now offer contracts for small rooftop solar projects at 54.5 cents a kilowatt hour, down from 80.2 cents a kWh.
Wind drops to 11.5 cents a kWh from 13.5 cents and solar ground-mounted under 10 kilowatts falls to 44.5 cents a kWh from 64.2 cents.
Prices for water projects, biomass, farm biogas, biogas and landfill gas all remain the same.
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