Sian Crampsie

The government of Ontario has announced plans to cancel contracts with renewable energy projects in a bid to cut energy costs for ratepayers.

The new conservative government in the Canadian province said it would cancel 758 contracts with developers whose contracts have not yet reached certain milestones, and that the move would save taxpayers C$790 million.

“For 15 years, Ontario families and businesses have been forced to pay inflated hydro prices, so the government could spend on unnecessary and expensive energy schemes,” said Ontario Minister of Energy, Northern Development and Mines Greg Rickford. “Those days are over.”

Rickford added: “We clearly promised we would cancel these unnecessary and wasteful energy projects as part of our plan to cut hydro rates by 12 per cent for families, farmers and small businesses. In the past few weeks, we have taken significant steps toward keeping that promise.”

The projects affected by the decision include projects contracted under Ontario’s Large Renewable Procurement programme and those awarded feed-in tariffs. They include Sky Solar’s 11 MW Sky One solar farm in Ryerson, the 50 MW Otter Creek wind farm near Wallaceburg, and the 32 MW Eastern Fields wind farm near Champlain.

According to the Canadian Wind Energy Association (CanWEA), Ontario is Canada’s leading market place for wind energy, with over 5000 MW of installed capacity.

“Maintaining investor confidence in the Ontario marketplace is important for Ontario’s short-and long-term economic prosperity,” said Robert Hornung, president of CanWEA. “CanWEA shares the Ontario government’s commitment to an affordable and reliable electricity system that benefits Ontarians. Ontario’s wind energy projects are providing long-term, stable pricing for Ontario ratepayers.

“Wind energy is now the lowest-cost option for new electricity supply in Ontario, across Canada, and throughout much of the world.”