Ontario will press ahead with more wind farms despite calls from critics for a halt to the multi-billion dollar projects in the face of energy surpluses.
A spokesperson for the Independent Electricity System Operator said Wednesday that Ontario will award contracts within weeks for another 300 megawatts of wind power after receiving proposals for more than 100 projects.
“Originally, we said we would award contracts by the end of the year, but that wasn’t possible given the number that we received so that was pushed back to March. We are on track to announce it this month,” said IESO spokesperson Mary Bernard.
No specific date for announcing the contracts has been released.
After facing an intense backlash from many communities opposed to wind farm development, especially in Southwestern Ontario that’s home to the province’s largest wind farms and its largest number of turbines, Ontario overhauled the process, requiring companies submitting bids to consult with municipalities.
Many communities bristled when the province, in its plunge into green energy, took away their zoning control over where the giant highrise-sized turbines can be built.
This time, companies also stand to be given preference if they can win backing of municipalities, local landowners or First Nations communities.
The 300 megawatts of power – equivalent to about what four large-scale industrial wind farms would produce – to be awarded this month is a relatively modest amount compared to earlier procurements that pushed installed wind energy capacity in Ontario to more than 3,200 megawatts in 2015.
It’s estimated one megawatt of wind power can supply enough electricity to power about 270 Ontario homes. Besides contracting for additional wind power, Ontario is set to award contracts for 140 megawatts of solar energy, 75 megawatts of waterpower and 50 megawatts of bioenergy.
Jane Wilson, president of Wind Concerns Ontario, a coalition of groups opposed to wind energy, said the 300 megawatts Ontario plans to contract through IESO will be intermittent and unreliable power that isn’t needed.
Wind projects proposed for Southwestern Ontario
Erie Shores Wind Farm 2, Capstone Infrastructure Corp., 70-megawatt project in Malahide Township and Bayham
Strong Breeze Wind Project, Invenergy LLC, 60-MW project in Dutton-Dunwich
Elgin Wind Project, Renewable Energy Systems Canada Inc., 26-MW project in West Elgin and Chatham-Kent
Hardy Creek Wind Energy Centre, NextEra Canada, 100 MW in Brooke-Alvinston and the townships of Adelaide Metcalfe and Warwick
Romney Wind Energy Centre, EDF EN Canada Development Inc., 100-MW project in Chatham-Kent, Lakeshore and Leamington
Optima Wind Project, Kruger Energy Inc., 38.4 MW project in Chatham-Kent
Otter Creek Wind Farm, Renewable Energy Systems Canada Inc., 50-MW project in Chatham-Kent
North Kent Wind 2, Samsung C&T Corp., 100-MW project in Chatham-Kent
Nauvoo Wind Power Project, Suncor Energy Products Inc., 75-MW project in Adelaide-Metcalfe, Warwick and Brooke-Alvinston
Clachan Wind Farm, SWEB Development Limited Partnership, 14-MW project in Chatham-Kent
Duart Wind Farm, SWEB Development Limited Partnership, 9-MW project in Chatham-Kent
Meadowvale Wind Farm, SWEB Development Limited Partnership, 15-MW project in Chatham-Kent
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