Amendments to the Renewable Energy Approvals Regulation (Ontario Regulation 359/09)

ERO number
013-3800
Notice type
Regulation
Act
Environmental Protection Act, R.S.O. 1990
Posted by
Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change
Notice stage
Proposal
Proposal posted
Comment period
September 21, 2018 - November 5, 2018 (45 days) Open

This consultation closes at 11:59 p.m. on:
November 5, 2018

Proposal summary

We are proposing to amend the Renewable Energy Approvals Regulation to change who is eligible for a renewable energy approval. The amendment would require a project developer to show there is demand for the electricity they will generate to get a renewable energy approval.

Proposal details

Description of Regulation

Renewable energy in Ontario

In Ontario, you need a renewable energy approval for large wind, solar or bio-energy projects.

The Renewable Energy Approvals Regulation (Ontario Regulation 359/09) outlines criteria for applicants to get a renewable energy approval.

The Independent Electricity System Operator operates the electricity market and directs the operation of the electrical system in the province. Their recent system planning work shows that Ontario has enough electricity resources for the near future.

On July 13, 2018, the Minister of Energy, Northern Development and Mines directed the Independent Electricity System Operator to wind down 758 renewable energy projects that had not yet reached significant development milestones. They did this as the benefits to ratepayers of winding down the contracts outweighed the associated costs.

The Independent Electricity System Operator is also conducting an electricity market renewal initiative. This initiative:

  • should provide market signals for any future investments needed in Ontario’s electricity system
  • may include opportunities for renewable energy resources to be purchased in a way that ensures value to Ontario electricity ratepayers and the electricity system.

Renewable energy approvals and the environment

Renewable energy projects (as with all construction and human activity) may impact the environment. Projects could impact:

  • natural heritage (e.g.animals, birds, insects, trees, and vegetation)
  • noise
  • groundwater
  • surface water.

We require project developers to reduce these effects through the renewable energy approvals process so that the benefits of the energy outweigh the impacts to the environment.

Proposed regulation amendment

This proposal reflects the government's position that because Ontario is in a strong supply situation, renewable energy projects should not proceed unless the project developer can show that there is a demand for the electricity, even where potential impacts are reduced.

This regulatory amendment would affect future renewable energy approval applicants and those whose applications are under review when the regulation comes into force. It would not affect renewable energy approvals that have already been issued.

Purpose of Regulation

This proposal would require a project developer to show that there is a demand for the electricity they will generate in order to get a renewable energy approval.

The proposed approach is consistent with our government's decision to wind down long-term contracts for electricity that the system does not need at this time.

Other Information

Proposed Green Energy Repeal Act, 2018

The Ministry of Energy, Northern Development and Mines introduced the Green Energy Repeal Act, 2018. If passed, the act would:

  • repeal the Green Energy Act, 2009
  • make amendments to other existing legislation with the goal of helping consumers lower their energy costs.

If passed, the act would amend the:

  • Environmental Protection Act – to enhance the government’s authority to prohibit issuing renewable energy approvals, including when the demand for the electricity has not been demonstrated
  • Planning Act – to restore municipalities’ planning authority related to siting renewable energy generation facilities.

We will consult on a separate proposal to remove any duplication in the Renewable Energy Approvals Regulation (Ontario Regulation 359/09) resulting from the Planning Act amendments.

Supporting materials

View materials in person

You can view supporting materials in person. Some are not available online because of ownership rights or for accessibility reasons.

Get in touch with the contact person listed below to find out what materials are available.

You can view them in person at these locations:

Client Services and Permissions Branch
Address

135 St. Clair Avenue West
1st Floor
Toronto ON M4V 1P5
Canada

Office phone number

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