6.8 C
Monday, February 24, 2020
Connecting Our Communities

Province moves to cancel green energy contracts

No Woolwich or Wellesley projects among the 758 earmarked to be cut


News Briefs

Woolwich nixes traffic islands Displeased with the troublesome pedestrian islands installed during the Region of Waterloo’s reconstruction of Church Street...

20-year-old agreement causes a stir

An Elmira environmentalist’s “smoking gun” appears to be shooting blanks. Al Marshall, a long-time critic of cleanup efforts at...

Forks up to farmers on well-timed Agriculture Day

February is not the most obvious time to celebrate agriculture in Canada. But that’s...

Need for dementia research will only keep growing

Along with financial insecurity due to inadequate pensions, Canadians have health issues to worry about as society ages...


clear sky
6.8 ° C
9 °
5.6 °
61 %
1 %
3 °
7 °
6 °
-4 °
-7 °

Dozens of green energy projects in the region are on the chopping block as the provincial government last weekend announced it was cancelling 758 contracts. Along with axing the cap-and-trade carbon scheme, the move follows Premier Doug Ford’s pledge to roll back provisions of the Liberals’ Green Energy Act.

“We clearly promised we would cancel these unnecessary and wasteful energy projects as part of our plan to cut hydro rates by 12 per cent for families, farmers and small businesses,” said Energy Minister Greg Rickford in a statement released July 13. “In the past few weeks, we have taken significant steps toward keeping that promise.”

The government says the move will save $790 million, even after the payout of as-yet-specified cancellation fees, courtesy of eliminating planned large renewable procurement and feed-in tariff contracts.

Among those hit are the Waterloo Catholic District School Board, which planned some rooftop solar projects, and the Grand River Conservation Authority’s bid for a waterpower project at the Parkhill Dam in Cambridge. None of those on the list includes projects in Woolwich or Wellesley townships.

“It did not impact any of our existing projects,” noted Chuck Martin of Elmira-based Woolwich Bio-En Power and Marbro Capital, who has been involved in a number of renewable energy ventures.

On the downside, he added, the government announcement really shrinks the chances for future construction of anaerobic digesters, for which the company had been building a reputation. None of the third-party projects that they’ve been involved with are involved, but those in the “tire-kicking” stages appear unlikely to go ahead.

“There’s a lot of uncertainty in the market right now.”

On the cap-and-trade front, the government decision has eliminated a potential market for renewable natural gas in the province, Martin said.

Where Bio-En had been discussing a potential deal with Union Gas, it now has to look at offset options in British Columbia and even California. Similar to a recent Union Gas request for proposals, FortisBC is seeking renewable offsets.

“It’s a new market that we would be pursuing in B.C. instead of Ontario. It would have been nicer to work closer to home.”

While the energy file is in flux just now, Martin said he expects the new government will eventually replace the cancelled programs with ones of their own.

“They can’t do nothing,” he said, noting there are target reductions that, if not met by the province, could see Ottawa step in. “It can’t be totally ignored.”

Previous articleThe View From Here
Next articleAiming for re-election

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to The Observer's online community. Pseudonyms are not permitted. By submitting a comment, you accept that The Observer has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner The Observer chooses. Please note that The Observer does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our submission guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.


Under the auctioneer’s gavel to provide help Down Under

After seeing the devastation from the Australian wildfires, a local art collector sold the first painting she ever bought on Saturday to help raise money for relief efforts there. Nancy...

In Print. Online. In Pictures. In Depth.

You obviously love community journalism. Thanks for visiting today. If you have a great local story, let us know.

Sugar Kings win three games, clinch first place

In need of just one more win to clinch first place in the Midwestern Conference, the Elmira Sugar Kings claimed all three games...

EDSS performers take Broadway under the sea

By Steve Kannon skannon@woolwichobserver.com The tropics, under the sea or otherwise, seem like a much better place...

U.S. edges out Canada in national para hockey battle

In the natural on-ice rivalry between Canada and the U.S., the American para hockey team has had the advantage in recent years. That...
- Advertisement -