Ontario Rules Out Offshore Wind Projects
McGuinty Government Committed to Renewable Energy While Protecting the Environment
Ministry of the Environment
Ontario is not proceeding with proposed offshore wind projects while further scientific research is conducted.
No Renewable Energy Approvals for offshore have been issued and no offshore projects will proceed at this time. Applications for offshore wind projects in the Feed-In-Tariff program will no longer be accepted and current applications will be suspended.
Offshore wind in freshwater lakes is early in development and there are no projects operating in North America. The recently installed Lake Vanern pilot project in Sweden is one of the only operational freshwater offshore projects in the world and a pilot project has been proposed in Ohio. Ontario will monitor these projects and the resulting scientific knowledge. Ontario will work with our U.S. neighbours on research to ensure any future proposed projects protect the environment on both sides of the Great Lakes.
Ontario remains committed to renewable energy. Renewable energy is a key part of our Open Ontario Plan to create clean energy jobs while improving air quality by closing coal-fired generation.
- Ontario is improving air quality by increasing renewable energy and turning off dirty coal-fired generation in 2014.
- The recently installed 10 turbine Lake Vanern pilot project in Sweden is one of the only operational freshwater offshore projects in the world. A five turbine pilot project is proposed in Ohio for Lake Erie.
- Ontario's Renewable Energy Approvals regulation requires extensive environmental reports, public, municipal and Aboriginal consultation, as well as noise assessments.
- Ontario has already attracted more than $16 billion in private sector investment in the Green Energy sector, and over 20 companies have announced plans to set up or expand operations in Ontario.
- Ontario's Long Term Energy Plan includes 10,700 MW of renewable energy - wind, solar and biomass - by 2018. This is equivalent to meeting the annual electricity requirements of two million homes.
We will be working with our U.S. neighbours to ensure that any offshore wind projects are protective of the environment. Offshore wind on freshwater lakes is a recent concept that requires a cautious approach until the science of environmental impact is clear. In contrast, the science concerning land based wind is extensive."
Wind power has quickly become an important Ontario energy source and is growing our clean energy economy, creating more good jobs for Ontarians. We've already brought over 700 onshore wind turbines online and our Energy Plan will help us continue to build more wind power and position Ontario as a global leader in renewable energy."
We need to base any future decisions on the best available scientific data. My ministry is working with our counterparts in the U.S. on offshore wind science and research to help ensure the protection of the Great Lakes."