Ontario approves 40 new clean power projects

Thu Feb 24, 2011 5:12pm EST
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By Susan Taylor

OTTAWA (Reuters) - The Canadian province of Ontario, fast becoming a clean energy powerhouse, said on Thursday it has approved 40 new large-scale renewable power projects that will create 7,000 jobs and attract C$3 billion ($3.06 billion) in private sector investment.

This second round of projects will generate 872 megawatts of electricity from the sun, wind and water, enough power for more than 200,000 homes. It follows the April announcement of 180 projects that will generate 2,400 MW of clean energy.

The contracts come under Ontario's feed-in tariff (FIT) program, which pays above-market prices under long-term contracts for power generated by projects that use a set quota of equipment that has been manufactured in the province.

The European-style FIT program was launched by Ontario's Liberal government in October 2009 with the aim of creating jobs, cutting pollution and replacing power lost by the government's plan to shut down all of Ontario's coal-fired generators by the end of 2014.

The province awarded contracts to 35 solar projects, generating a total of 257 MW of power, four wind projects, for a combined 615 MW, and one 500-kilowatt hydroelectric project. At least 240 wind turbines and one million solar panels will be used in the developments, the province said.

SkyPower Ltd, Canada's largest solar developer, said it was awarded 13 solar contracts totaling 148.3 MW of energy capacity.

Nigig Power Corp has the largest contract, for a 300 MW wind project planned for Pickerel, in northern Ontario, followed by a 230 MW wind project proposed by Renewable Energy Business Ltd for Smithville, on the Niagara Peninsula.

Developers submitted 325 proposals for projects greater than 500 kilowatts, with a total generating capacity of 4,547 MW.   Continued...