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  • OSEA: Energy minister in Kincardine to announce 25 new renewable energy projects
    Farms Solar One in Strathroy 2 MW solar Duguid said these projects will create 5 000 new jobs in Ontario and provide enough clean renewable electricity to power more than 280 000 homes or a community the size of Windsor each year They will also help attract about 3 billion in new private sector investment to the province he said Our efforts are transforming our electricity system attracting investment creating thousands of jobs and building a better future for our children and grandchildren said Duguid These projects will create more good jobs for Ontario families and provide new clean power for local communities to grow and prosper These projects will be brought on line through the Bruce to Milton reinforcement project Ontario s largest transmission project in 20 years said Duguid So far more than 2 000 mid size and large scale FIT projects have been announced representing enough electricity each year to power about 900 000 homes Prior to making the announcement Duguid and Mitchell toured the Bruce A Restart project at the Bruce Nuclear site A clean reliable energy system relies on a balance of supply said Duguid Nuclear power is an important part of this diverse supply mix powering our homes our businesses and our clean energy economy now and into the future Mitchell noted that the Bruce Nuclear site produces one quarter of Ontario s electricity and refurbishing all the remaining six units after the current project is completed is an important piece of Ontario s Long Term Energy Plan I congratulate the workers and Bruce Power for undertaking this significant effort to renew our nuclear fleet and on the significant milestone reached last week refuelling Unit 2 Duguid said he is disappointed in the federal government s decision to sell Atomic Energy of Canada Limited AECL which means lost jobs in Ontario He added that the Ontario New Democrats and Conservatives would dismantle the great energy system that the Liberals have worked so hard to put in place and that would put thousands of people out of work hurting Ontario families It s time to take responsibility for the next generation and not let our children down he said We have a great opportunity to build a cleaner and healthier future and a strong and healthy economy here in Ontario Gideon Forman executive director of the Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment said the association is delighted with Ontario s plan to phase out coal plants Renewable energy is not creating acid rain or smog or contributing to global warming and climate change he said Green energy is a great boost to the economy and it is healthier for our people and for our economy To dismantle the Green Energy Act would be to destroy our economy our health and our environment Laura Formusa president and chief executive officer of Hydro One said the Bruce to Milton transmission reinforcement project is 180 kilometres long and parallels the two existing lines It is an important

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  • OSEA: Ribbon Cut On GTA’s Largest Rooftop Solar Project
    and it s community owned The SolarShare WaterView Project features a 438 kW system covering 2 5 acres of the rooftop of the Daimler Buses North America Ltd manufacturing facility near Lake Ontario in Mississauga VIP guests Ontario Minister of Labour Charles Sousa and Mississauga Mayor Hazel McCallion cut the ceremonial ribbon on the project to the applause of onlookers and supporters Thankful that earlier thunderstorms had cleared and the sun was shining guests participated in afternoon rooftop solar tours led by SolarShare Renewable Energy Co op system owners technology providers Uni Solar installers Advanced Green Technologies AGT and roof hosts Daimler Buses WaterView is the largest of eighteen solar power installations in Ontario that form the SolarShare Co operative portfolio totaling over 600kW of capacity and representing over 3million of investment SolarShare goes to market later this month with community solar bonds allowing all Ontario residents and businesses to become members and invest in solar through the co op This landmark event is a precedent setting example of community and commercial collaboration in clean energy development pronounced Mike Brigham President of SolarShare and Chair of the TREC Renewable Energy Co operative the organization that incubated the SolarShare co op The WaterView project has brought together cutting edge technology industry leading design and local human resources in a project that allows residents in Mississauga and across the province to invest in and benefit from clean solar power Judith Lipp Executive Director of TREC agreed TREC established the first renewable energy coop in Ontario when over 400 citizens pooled their funds to build the iconic WindShare turbine at Exhibition Place SolarShare is the next evolution of community owned power in Ontario It exemplifies what the Green Energy Act and the Feed in Tariff program were designed to enable profitable businesses generating

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  • OSEA: Ontarians show strong support for green energy in run up to provincial election: poll
    to October 6 s provincial election energy policy has become a contentious issue With Ontario on track to eliminate coal powered generation by 2014 there is much debate as to the source of energy best suited to replace it Kristopher Stevens Executive Director at OSEA commented Ontarians are smart I interpret the polling results to mean that the majority of people in our province understand clean energy produces good jobs and is beneficial to our environment and that it is worth supporting The Ontario PC leader has campaigned against the Green Energy Act and its Feed in Tariff rates Interestingly the survey indicated 57 of decided PC supporters were in favour of green energy initiatives One quarter of these PC supporters strongly agreed 82 of both Liberal and NDP identified voters support green energy Close to half of Liberal supporters 49 strongly agreed with current energy initiatives in Ontario Similarly 52 of NDP voters strongly agreed with green energy BY DECIDED VOTE INTENT The polling which was conducted between July 7th and July 13th 2011 shows the PCs with the highest number of decided votes at 42 8 followed by the Liberals at 31 5 the NDP at 17 7 and the Green Party with 8 A significant 17 7 of voters remain undecided Decided Vote Intent There was an almost even split in response to the question Overall do you feel that things in Ontario are headed in the right direction or do you feel that they are off on the wrong track Pollster Dr Paul Seccaspina noted that Despite non scientific and anecdotal opinions with respect to the public s views on green energy our polling indicates strong support across all regions party affiliations and demographic groups in Ontario These results are based on an 800 person omnibus

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  • OSEA: Green Energy Is Good for Ontarians and for Ontario
    at the bottom of this article The Minister is balancing two needs Keep investing in the province s ageing transmission and generation infrastructure Help households by minimizing rates e g the current 10 green energy rebate that is sharing the benefits of investment The Liberal government has doubled the rate of investment made by its predecessor and Minister Duguid saw it as essential that the investment continues since it enables so many other improvements He highlighted the importance of storage Big centralized power generation such as nuclear are inflexible which can result in power surpluses needing to be sold at low even negative prices since we currently cannot store them Storage also makes better use of intermittent sources and will help to meet the demand from electric cars which will create peaks in demand as they are recharged However Minister Duguid reminded us that the cheapest watt of power is the one that is saved through conservation and reduced wastage Consumers with better information provided by smart meters and rewards provided through time of day pricing can achieve significant reductions in unnecessary consumption We can reduce generation losses through combined power and heat systems which use the thermal energy that is normally lost to the environment Also moving power long distances itself takes energy We can reduce this by generating closer to use Expanding the use of local combined heat and power and renewable sources will spread generation more evenly provided the transmission investment has been made to remove the limitations on connection Kris challenged the minister on a number of key issues Influence of local municipalities in the process they feel cut out The Minister emphasized that municipal engagement is mandatory and while the government is working to streamline the process it will remain mandatory The government will provide guidelines for developers on how to work with municipalities At the same time it is essential to recognize that this is a new programme which is a real leader in providing jobs today and the new economy for tomorrow If a municipality can just say no then it risks putting the brakes on those jobs and that new economy Cost over runs in nuclear power should there be a feed in tariff for nuclear to ensure transparency and reduce the risk to customers and taxpayers caused by cost overruns Answer The intent is not to expand nuclear generation but to maintain the current level 50 of the total ensuring a reliable mix of sources The government is moving to a different form of contract The Bruce risk is already being shared Domestic Content Requirements people said they were too tough The Minister responded by noting that partly due to those requirements Ontario is now well on the way to becoming the clean energy hub that was envisaged with manufacturing not just for our needs but also for export This is strongly supported by research and development being done in Ontario by both companies and institutions such as Ryerson University s

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  • OSEA: Friends of Wind Ontario launch information meeting series
    can hear and discuss information about wind power are essential As Jutta does she believes that farmers and wind turbines can live in harmony close to each other Wind power is a free and unlimited resource that is emission neutral and doesn t require large amounts of water resources As Jutta says If Ontario communities want to keep the agriculture industry enticing for the next generation we need to be innovative and sustainable in terms of energy sources uses and applications Another speaker was Tim Weis He is director of renewable energy and efficiency policy at the Pembina Institute He and his colleagues at Pembina recently completed a study of the future of Ontario energy prices http www pembina org pub 2238 Behind the switch pricing Ontario electricity options The study finds that Ontario consumers would see virtually no relief from high electricity prices if the province cancelled its support for renewable energy under the Green Energy Act In fact the study indicates that investing in renewable energy today is likely to save Ontario ratepayers money within the next 15 years as natural gas becomes more expensive and as the cost of renewable energy technology continues to decrease Dr Weis says Whether Ontarians choose to keep or kill the Green Energy Act electricity prices will continue to rise in this province because of the serious and costly refurbishments repairs and replacements required to fix Ontario s energy system Ontario s needs to replace the majority of electricity generation within the next 10 to 20 years Dr Weis said You simply cannot replace assets that were bought and paid for in the 1970s with new facilities today and expect to pay prices on par with those four decades ago Cancelling the Green Energy Act would make very little or no difference to Ontario ratepayers because to meet electricity demand the amount of energy that s currently planned from renewable sources would have to be replaced with other options which would likely work out to be more polluting and less sustainable and in the long run more expensive Ultimately Dr Weis s research shows that Ontario s ratepayers stand to lose more than they would gain in the short term by cancelling the Green Energy Act because doing so would lead to higher costs and more risk in the long run The final speaker was Toronto environmental lawyer Diane Saxe She is one of the world s top 25 environmental lawyers a Certified Specialist in Environmental Law and has a Ph D in Law Dr Saxe discussed the recent decision by Ontario s Environmental Review Tribunal concerning Suncor s Kent Breeze Wind Farm Project Erickson v Ministry of the Environment This is an important decision since it was the first challenge of a project approved under the Ontario s Green Energy Act http envirolaw com erickson appeal decision The Tribunal found that wind turbines can be built in Ontario despite opponents claims of adverse health effects Specifically Dr Saxe said that the

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  • OSEA: Waste Not, Want Not
    the leaders Ontario has rested on investments made in the 20th century such as at Niagara Now we need to invest for this century but new renovated generation capacity is high cost compared to investing in efficiency and conservation We need to do both together to deliver affordable power which will create the political support needed to make this change Efficiency and conservation minimize the peak demands which cause the highest cost generation If we fall behind it is difficult to catch up and the energy system is a major determinant of income and productivity in Ontario Peter Tabuns laid out the NDP energy platform for the upcoming election It was announced yesterday with two main thrusts Conservation avoid waste with increased efficiency to make the best use of the power consumed This includes a focus on energy retrofits of buildings where much energy is wasted and emphasis on the Energy Star programme improving the efficiency of appliances etc A balanced approach to energy supply the environment must benefit and so must the economy with all sources rigorously assessed for costs and benefits Given the disaster at Fukushima nuclear costs will increase as more safety factors are addressed The NDP will not rebuild the Darlington nuclear plant using the funds saved elsewhere including retrofitting housing Green energy will grow in significance but only where the costs and benefits justify it On the the Green Energy Act and Feed In Tariffs FIT Mr Tabuns said they would stay but with emphasis on efficiency and conservation The NDP originally proposed community and locally based green energy It was not accepted at that time An NDP government will rectify that omission and raise the profile of solar thermal as a source of energy However the NDP sees all large scale projects being publicly owned Challenged on this he stated that projects up to around 40 megawatts should be locally or community owned Above that projects should be driven by the Province although existing contracts would be honoured The private sector would manufacture and build with an RFP process enabling companies to propose projects The current review of FIT must include thermal energy The outcome must be a rate that is high enough to ensure investment and capture the benefits of improving technology A key issue is rebuilding lost investor confidence which has impacted job creation The NDP is clear that the green energy industry has a bright future in Ontario and will be making a large contribution to the supply of energy We need to build knowledge and skills but they must be balanced We need to fund R D to ensure that manufacturing is competitive But R D goes where there is large scale manufacturing so we must also ensure that manufacturing skills are available This two way connection between R D and manufacturing is shown by IBM investing 40 million in an energy R D centre in China attracted by the scale of the manufacturing base Ontario needs both The discussion

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  • OSEA: Conservation, Efficiency and Community
    if the information is available Following on the energy literacy Mr Schreiner strongly supported education for a green energy workforce The Green Party proposes a tax credit for small and medium sized businesses investing in green energy projects including R D and manufacturing This will increase the demand for workers The Green Party supports funding 300 million to support apprenticeships mentoring and other programmes to create the necessary skilled workforce Since youth unemployment is around 18 this fund will benefit Ontario twice over reducing unemployment and improving our energy system However key to increasing employment will be rebuilding investor confidence dented by the recent political discussions Mr Schreiner committed that no contract should be cancelled nor should the Green Energy Act be repealed although it needs reviewing and modifying He is opposed to back room deals without proper transparency and committed to no more such deals Transparency is important including a transparent pricing process for FIT The costs of technologies such as solar will go down so the prices will change but the timetable milestones and triggers should all be clear A core strength of FIT is that it is paid only on delivery The Green Party is opposed to households and taxpayers facing overrun costs such as the stranded debt and supports legislation to protect them Mr Schreiner is open to applying the FIT approach more widely because it is open and transparent Our current approach to energy is weak at the municipality level They are not responsible for energy planning for new developments or in the building codes This needs to be addressed e g new building codes should require higher insulation and hookups for solar thermal systems which are very effective Municipalities must consider 21st century energy costs develop energy plans for their geographies and ensure development charges cover necessary energy investments Development should pay for development At the Provincial level the Ministry of Energy is sometimes called the Ministry of Electricity Mike Schreiner advocates a broader integrated approach We need energy for heat and transport as well as electrical power The Ministry must move away from a narrow silo ed approach Using full cost accounting it should address all energy needs including heating and transportation However district heating systems have local gas plants the siting of which have been controversial The Green Party would address this by having provincial guidelines on the siting of larger plants i e over 100 MW These guidelines would address issues such as protecting wetlands and distance from schools Smaller plants have not proved a problem as they are usually co located with the institution they support such as hospitals An integrated energy approach includes offshore wind Mr Schreiner s position is that offshore wind like all energy projects must be sustainable We need to get it right next time as starting and stopping hurts investor confidence For offshore wind we need to identify locations with adequate wind and no migratory birds Then Ontario should proceed with commitment and transparency However

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  • OSEA: New way to invest in solar power now available in Ontario
    opportunity to invest in solar in Ontario was announced today with the province wide release of SolarShare Community Solar Bonds 1000 bonds that earn 5 annual returns over a 5 year term Developed by TREC Renewable Energy Co operative the SolarShare Co operative is now offering bonds that are invested in a portfolio consisting entirely of solar electric power projects across the province projects that are already constructed producing power and generating stable long term revenues under 20 year Ontario Feed in Tariff FIT contracts SolarShare bonds enable socially conscious investors to participate in an environmental initiative that positively impacts communities throughout Ontario In an emerging impact investing market where returns are measured not just by economic but also social and environmental benefits SolarShare projects provide local economic development generate clean safe renewable energy that tackles climate change and pay a competitive rate of return to investors Eighteen solar installations in Ontario currently form the SolarShare Co operative portfolio totaling over 600kW of capacity and representing over 3 7million of investment with yet more to come SolarShare Community Solar Bonds allow all Ontario residents and businesses to become members and invest in solar through the co op Currently investment is limited to one 1000 bond per member The SolarShare bond release opens a door to everyone to participate in the solar economy in Ontario stated Mike Brigham President of SolarShare and Chair of the TREC Renewable Energy Co operative SolarShare is designed for citizens who want to invest in solar power but don t have a suitable site or access to capital to install solar panels on their own property All residents and businesses in Ontario can become SolarShare members and invest in the co op Judith Lipp Executive Director of TREC agreed TREC established the first renewable energy co

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