Ontario Places Moratorium on Offshore Wind Development

The Canadian province of Ontario has halted development of offshore wind projects in the Great Lakes–stating the need for additional study on the environmental impacts.

"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," John Wilkinson, Ontario’s minister of the environment, said in a statement.

The government did not give any timeline for lifting the ban.

This is the second such moratorium put in place for offshore wind farms in Ontario. One was first established in 2006–and then lifted in 2008.

Ontario has been arguably the hottest market for new renewable energy development over the last year and a half since the province established a generous feed-in tariff (FIT) for renewables. 

Estimates by the non-profit Conference Board of Canada suggest Ontario has the potential to develop about 2,000 MW of offshore wind power.

The Canadian Wind Energy Association said it is disappointment with the government’s decision to pause offshore wind energy developments.

 “Ontario is proving itself a leader in driving a new clean energy future that delivers emission-free power and new jobs for our skilled trade workers,” said CanWEA president Robert Hornung. “This is an unfortunate decision that surrenders the province’s leadership role in exploring the potential for offshore wind energy in the Great lakes and creates significant uncertainty for investors.”

The moratorium on offshore projects will not affect land-based wind farms. 

With Ontario projects on hold, the first operating wind farm on the Great Lakes is likely to be in the U.S. portion of Lake Erie, near Cleveland. In September, the Lake Erie Energy Development Corporation (LEEDCo) selected a team of three companies to develop a project using GE wind turbines.

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Comments on “Ontario Places Moratorium on Offshore Wind Development”

  1. Read This First

    If you are concerned about the Earth and her peoples, you should NOT support the manufacture of wind turbines, according to this recent article by the UK’s Daily Mail online:

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/home/moslive/article-1350811/In-China-true-cost-Britains-clean-green-wind-power-experiment-Pollution-disastrous-scale.html

    This is why: The Chinese are being polluted to death so that turbine parts can be made from the rare earth element neodymium, says the article. Researchers say 7 million tons a year of byproduct from mining and acid-based processing is being dumped near Baotou, creating a 5-mile wide man-made “tailing” lake of poisonous chemicals. Apparently, thousands of people have been sickened by the air and water, and this toxic waste now threatens a key waterway.

    Do you still believe that wind turbines are “Green”?

    Canada and the States shouldn’t be in such a yank to grow wind farms. Our push could be killing people in another part of the world and leading to contamination unlike anything we have ever seen. How about we STOP now and RE-THINK what is happening because of us.

    Reply

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