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Rules Proposed For Off-shore Wind Turbines

Archived News Release

Rules Proposed For Off-shore Wind Turbines

McGuinty Government Helping Protect The Environment And Develop Clean Energy

Ontario is seeking input on proposed rules for off-shore wind turbines including keeping them at least five kilometres from the shoreline.

A shoreline exclusion zone would be comparable with proposals by many U.S. states that border the Great Lakes.

In addition the Ministry of Natural Resources is undertaking a review of Ontario's current process for making Crown land available for off-shore wind projects.  This review will include consideration of where, when and how the government makes Crown land available.

Another proposed rule would require turbine developers to complete a comprehensive application process. This would include addressing potential impacts to endangered and threatened species and their habitat, significant wildlife habitats, users of Crown land, flooding and erosion. 

The public and industry can comment on the proposal on the province's environmental registry (Registry number 011-0089) for the next 60 days. Public and industry consultation sessions will also be held starting in the fall. Dates and locations will be available soon at www.ontario.ca/environment.

Clean energy and conservation are key aspects of combating climate change and phasing out coal-fired electricity. This is also part of the Open Ontario plan to create thousands of clean jobs in Ontario and market clean energy expertise to the world.

Quick Facts

  • All off-shore wind projects would be subject to Ontario's Renewable Energy Approvals (REA) regulation which requires extensive environmental reports, public, municipal and Aboriginal consultation, as well as noise assessments.
  • Since 2003, about 1,300 megawatts of renewable electricity has come online in Ontario, enough to power more than 300,000 homes - or a city the size of Windsor.
  • Compared to land-based wind, off-shore wind has been found to have faster, more uniform wind currents for greater energy production.

Background Information

Additional Resources


“Our priority is making sure renewable, clean energy sources are developed in a way that protects the environment. We look forward to hearing from the public and industry on the protective rules we are proposing.”

John Gerretsen

Minister of the Environment

“A clean supply of renewable energy is vital for Ontario's economic growth and future prosperity. It is a priority to ensure Ontario is a renewable energy leader in technology and site selection. We will continue to work with industry and seek public input to advance renewable energy projects across the province.”

Linda Jeffrey

Minister of Natural Resources

“The Green Energy Act is opening Ontario's clean energy economy to new investment and will help create 50,000 jobs in the first three years of implementation. Today's posting of rules proposed for off-shore wind turbines demonstrates that our government is advancing renewable energy technology in a responsible way that protects the environment.”

Brad Duguid

Minister of Energy and Infrastructure

“This is an encouraging step towards ensuring that offshore wind energy developments avoid impacts on wildlife, particularly birds.”

Caroline Schultz

Executive Director Ontario Nature

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