The Ontario Power Authority (OPA) has awarded feed-in-tariff (FIT) contracts to 40 new projects representing more than 872 MW of renewable power.
Contracts have been awarded for 35 additional solar projects totaling 257 MW, four wind projects totaling 615 MW, and one water project totaling 500 kW. Of these contracts, five have been awarded to community groups, and one Aboriginal project has been approved.
Combined, these projects represent an estimated 7,000 direct and indirect jobs and approximately $3 billion in private-sector investment, according to the OPA.
‘Wind energy's growing contribution to Ontario's electricity supply is making Ontario a leader in green energy production, and bringing much-needed jobs and economic opportunities to local communities,’ says Robert Hornung, president of the Canadian Wind Energy Association. ‘The wind energy industry is committed to working closely with municipal leaders and local residents, the Ontario government and the Ontario Power Authority to ensure wind energy developments in communities throughout Ontario are responsible and sustainable.’
The projects include a 300 MW wind farm being developed by Henvey Inlet First Nation's Nigig Power Corp. and the proposed 230 MW project being developed by Niagara Region Wind Corp.
These contracts are the second phase of large-scale renewable energy projects to be awarded under Ontario's FIT program. Last year, the OPA signed the first 180 contracts for large-scale projects.
Large-scale FIT applications submitted by June 2010 that were not offered contracts will be subject to the first Economic Connection Test under the FIT program.
In the coming weeks, the OPA expects to begin awarding more contracts for capacity allocation exempt projects under 500 kW.
Canada currently has 4,155 MW of installed wind energy capacity. Ontario is the provincial leader in installed wind energy capacity, with 1,598 MW of wind energy development.