Ontario Proposes New Rules For Green Energy Projects
McGuinty Government Invites Public Input
The province is proposing a one-window approvals process and standardized requirements for renewable energy projects.
The government is seeking the public's input on approval requirements for renewable energy projects, including setbacks for wind, solar, hydro, biogas and biomass projects, which build on and strengthen the environmental and health protection components of current regulatory requirements.
Proposed approval requirements for renewable energy projects include the following:
- Wind turbines would not be permitted less than 550 metres from the nearest dwelling, and this minimum setback would increase with the number and loudness of turbines. It is also proposed that wind turbines be set back from roadways and property lines, and there would be ongoing requirements to monitor and address low-frequency noise and vibrations.
- Natural heritage features, such as significant wetlands or significant wildlife habitat, would be protected by a setback of 120 metres, with development only being able to move closer where there is a study demonstrating the ability to mitigate negative impacts.
- The new requirements would support implementation of the Green Energy Act, 2009. It's part of Ontario's plan to create green jobs and bring economic growth to Ontario, and will help address climate change.
- Renewable sources of energy will help the government meet its commitment to phase out coal-fired generation by 2014, the single largest greenhouse gas reduction initiative across Canada. Eliminating coal-fired generation will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by up to 30 megatonnes.
“I encourage Ontarians to provide input into the proposed renewable energy approvals process. It's our goal to ensure that Ontario has plenty of sources of green energy that meet human health and environment standards.”
“The proposed requirements will ensure we continue to uphold rigorous safety and environmental standards while providing clarity about the approvals process for renewable energy projects. Developing new sources of renewable energy has a critical role to play in helping us reduce the impacts of climate change.”