This consultation was open from:
December 4, 2018
to January 18, 2019
We are proposing regulation amendments to ensure that renewable energy approvals are only issued if confirmation of zoning approval is received from local municipal authorities. This will help restore municipal planning authority over the siting of renewable energy projects.
Description of regulation
Proposed regulation amendments
In Ontario, you need a renewable energy approval for the construction, operation and maintenance of 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.
We are proposing to amend the regulation to require project developers to submit written confirmation from local municipal authorities indicating that the proposed use of land at the project location is not prohibited by a zoning by-law or zoning order under the Planning Act.
Project developers will be required to provide this confirmation to be eligible to apply for or receive a renewable energy approval.
The written confirmation must be submitted by the project developer as part of their application or as otherwise requested by the ministry, and prepared by:
- each local municipality where the project is located or by each planning board that has jurisdiction in the area, or
- the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing, if the project location is situated in an area without municipal organization or a planning board.
This would apply to:
- initial applications for a renewable energy approval
- applications the ministry is already reviewing
- applications to amend a renewable energy approval where the proposed change would take place in a different location than the original project
This proposal is consistent with the proposed amendments to the Planning Act and reflects our commitment to restore municipal planning authority over the siting of renewable energy projects.
Project developers would not be required to make the municipal confirmation available to the public before final public meetings.
Purpose of regulation:
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, and amend other existing legislation with the goal of helping consumers lower their energy costs
- amend the Planning Act to restore municipal planning authority related to the siting of renewable energy generation facilities
We are proposing to amend the Renewable Energy Approvals Regulation to align with these changes.
The Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing is also proposing a regulation to address transition issues related to restoring municipal planning authority.
The proposed regulation would:
- establish the transition rules for grandfathering existing renewable energy projects, as these projects may not comply with municipal planning documents and would require regulatory protection to continue
- provide that, despite its repeal, section 62.0.2 of the Planning Act would continue to apply to specific renewable energy projects in specific circumstances.
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