Ontario’s provincial government is scrapping the province’s Green Energy Act, introduced in 2009.
Announced Friday morning, Bill 34 – The Green Energy Repeal Act is touted by the government to stop skyrocketing electricity rates in Ontario.
The Green Energy Repeal Act gives the government the authority to stop approvals for energy projects where the need for electricity has not been clearly demonstrated.
Minister of Energy, Northern Development and Mines Greg Bickford says the act eliminates a piece of legislation that introduced disastrous changes to Ontario’s energy system that led to rising electricity rates for families and businesses.
Bickford adds, “By repealing this act, we’re restoring planning decisions to municipalities that were stripped by the previous government and ensuring local voices have the final say on energy projects in their communities.”
The new legislation gives municipalities the final say over the siting of future energy projects in their communities.
Parry Sound Mayor and Association of Municipalities of Ontario President Jamie McGarvey says AMO is pleased that local planning powers will be restored by repealing measures of the Green Energy Act. “Renewable energy projects should be guided by the ambitions and visions of communities and the people who live there. They should not be imposed”.
The move also eliminates the province’s Feed-In-Tariff program.
The FIT program pays a guaranteed price over a 20-year contract term (40 years for waterpower projects) for all the electricity that is generated and delivered to the Ontario grid.
Qualified participants can include homeowners, communities, municipalities, Aboriginal communities, business owners, and private developers.
As yet, it is unknown how this will affect the Parry Sound region’s Henvey Inlet First Nation Wind Farm.
The project is the largest of its kind in Ontario and the largest First Nation wind farm in Canada.