Ontario Issues $8 Billion in Renewable Energy Contracts

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An Ontario government agency yesterday announced $8 billion in new renewable energy deals under the province’s bulked up feed-in tariff program

An Ontario government agency yesterday announced $8 billion in new renewable energy deals under the province’s bulked up feed-in tariff program, with 184 wind, solar, hydro and landfill gas projects winning long-term contracts to provide a total of about 2,500 megawatts of green power.


While the announcement is good news for the environment, provincial ratepayers will end up spending about $300 more per year on their electricity bills,according to The Globe and Mail.

The move comes just months after Ontario unveiled a $7 billion renewable equipment supply deal with Samsung.

With this round, a few American energy companies emerged with significant deals, while others were shut out.

The Ontario Power Authority, which oversees the program, awarded contracts for 100 megawatts of solar and wind projects to a subsidiary ofInvenergy LLC, a Chicago company.

Recurrent Energy, a distributed solar energy company in San Francisco, also won a deal to build several photovoltaic farms, with a combined capacity of 145 megawatts, over the next two years.

The province’s green energy rules require Recurrent, which has about 200 megawatts of solar projects on the books, to source 60 percent of its equipment in Ontario, and the company said in a release that the deal will yield 2,500 new jobs.

In an interview with Green Inc., Recurrent’s chief executive, Arno Harris, described Ontario as “a very friendly environment” for renewable energy investors.

But Nextera Energy Resources, the renewables division of the Florida Power & Light Company, is less bullish.

The company, which has installed 18,000 megawatts of renewable capacity at various sites and is the nation’s largest wind energy operator, has maintained an Ontario office for three years and was hoping to win 600 megawatts in renewable contracts.

The company came away with deals for 148 megawatts.

Nextera’s senior vice president, Mike O’Sullivan, said on Thursday that while Ontario had been aggressively touting its green energy plans, the jury is still out on whether the policies will yield results. “Talk is preceding the action,” he said.

Nextera operates wind farms in Quebec, Ontario and Alberta, but these Canadian assets represent the extent of its non-American holdings.

Mr. O’Sullivan noted that Texas has 9,000 megawatts of installed wind capacity, while Ontario, with about half the population, has built just “a fraction” of that figure.

(The Ontario Power Authority reported that as of the fourth quarter last year, there was 1,178 megawatts of installed wind power in Ontario.)

Ontario’s Liberal government came to power vowing to phase out coal-powered generation in favor of renewables and new nuclear facilities. The province says it has invested over $15 billion in new generation projects since 2005.

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