Proposed setback regulation threatens several proposed offshore wind power in Ontario

If implemented, this decision will prevent several proposed offshore wind farm projects from proceeding in their current form.

“Encouraged by the Ontario Government to explore offshore wind energy opportunities, companies have been making significant investments to develop wind turbines projects in areas that would now be excluded from development under the proposed regulation,” said CanWEA president Robert Hornung.

“Investors require strong and stable wind energy policy, but this element of the proposed regulation is inconsistent with past policy signals concerning offshore wind energy in Ontario.”

The proposed regulation is part of a package of policies on offshore wind power development that are now open to public consultation. CanWEA will be reviewing and responding to these proposals with a view to proposing changes targeted at maintaining investor confidence in Ontario’s offshore wind energy policy framework while at the same time facilitating and ensuring the responsible and sustainable development of offshore wind energy in Ontario.

“It will be critical for the Ontario government to ensure that any new regulatory framework provides opportunities for existing offshore wind energy project proponents to build on the work they have undertaken to date to make offshore wind energy a reality in Ontario,” said Hornung.

“If not, Ontario’s early lead in the pursuit of offshore wind energy opportunities in the Great Lakes will be challenged by the many US states now also actively encouraging such development.”

At the end of 2009, there was more than 2,000 MW of installed offshore wind energy capacity in ten countries worldwide. While there are not currently any offshore wind farms in North America, wind farm projects are in development in both Canada and the United States.

CanWEA is the voice of Canada’s wind energy industry, actively promoting the responsible and sustainable growth of wind energy on behalf of its more than 450 members. A national non-profit association, CanWEA serves as Canada’s leading source of credible information about wind energy and its social, economic and environmental benefits.

To join other global leaders in the wind energy industry, CanWEA believes Canada can and must reach its target of producing 20 per cent or more of the country’s electricity from wind by 2025.