The Ontario government has lifted a deferral on existing proposals for offshore wind power projects and will be accepting new onshore and offshore applications for applicant-of-record status in the near future.
‘This government is committed to developing clean, renewable sources of energy so Ontarians will have a sustainable supply of power now and in the future,’ says Natural Resources Minister Donna Cansfield. ‘Offshore applications we've received to date will be processed, and we are preparing to accept new applications for both onshore and offshore developments.’
Over the last year, the province has taken steps to ensure decisions on applications for onshore and offshore wind power development are based on the best available information. These steps have included partnering with the U.S. National Renewable Energy Laboratory to evaluate offshore wind potential in the Great Lakes; analyzing lakes Erie, Huron and Ontario, including depth, wind speed and other social and ecological values; developing wind power guidance documents for birds and bats; and establishing a partnership with Bird Studies Canada, the Canadian Wind Energy Association and Environment Canada's Canadian Wildlife and service to set up a common database for monitoring wind power's impact on birds and bats.
All applicants must undergo a review to ensure preliminary requirements are met before they can be awarded applicant-of-record status, which allows them to pursue the approvals required to construct and operate a wind power facility. All proposed facilities must go through an environmental assessment.