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article imageOntario cancels $3.8 billion in energy contracts

By Jack Derricourt     Sep 28, 2016 in Politics
The Ontario government announced Tuesday that they are cancelling the next round of renewable energy contracts for the province. They hope to save $3.8 billion in energy costs, in order to lighten the load on hydro customers.
Current contracts for producing wind, solar and other forms of renewable energy will remain intact, but, as the government noted in a press release:
Ontario will immediately suspend the second round of its Large Renewable Procurement (LRP II) process and the Energy-from-Waste Standard Offer Program, halting procurement of over 1,000 megawatts (MW) of solar, wind, hydroelectric, bioenergy and energy from waste projects.
The energy ministry received a report from the electricity planning committee, the IESO, on September 1st that indicated no urgent need for enlarging Ontario’s energy capacity.
This decision comes after a recent show of discontent over Hydro increases. During premier Kathleen Wynne’s attendance of the International Plowing Match, a number of rural Ontarians protested to show their discontent over recent wind farm projects and their unhappiness over rising hydro bills. In a recent throne speech, the Liberals also promised to offer a rebate for hydro costs to farms and rural families. Wynne’s announcement of these plans to the Plowing Match crowd garnered some cheers, but a large number of boos as well.
After the cancellation of new capacity purchases, the energy ministry hopes to see an average savings of $2.45. Progressive Conservatives, currently leading in the polls, had previously called for such a cancellation, due to the abundance of available power in Ontario.
The energy ministry has pushed decisions on the acquisition of any further energy sources to later in the year, when the new Long-Term Energy Plan will start to take shape. The Ontario government touted their continuing dedication to renewable energy sources in their press release, despite this shift away from taking on any new contracts:
Ontario has established itself as a North American leader in clean energy development, attracting billions of dollars in private sector investment and generating over 42,000 jobs in the clean technology sector. The province has about 18,000 MW of wind, solar, bioenergy and hydroelectric energy contracted or online and the electricity supply is now over 90 per cent emissions-free.
The province is also one of the major players in a new cap and trade system.
More about Ontario, Renewable energy, Wind power, Solar power, Hydro