On May 14, 2009, the Green Energy Act, 2009 was passed.
It is intended to encourage the development of renewable energy in
Ontario by streamlining the approvals process, enhancing connection
and distribution and providing certainty in the province's
power purchase arrangements.
Passed in record-breaking time, key components of the Act
Feed-in tariff program – A feed-in tariff
procurement program will replace the Ontario Power Authority's
current request for proposal process and standard offer program.
This new program is intended to increase investor confidence in
renewable energy projects by providing standard program rules,
standard contracts and standard pricing for classes of renewable
energy. Prices will be differentiated by energy source or fuel
type, generation capacity and the manner by which the generation
facility is used, deployed, installed or located.
Streamlined approvals process – A
'one-stop' approvals process will combine existing
environmental approvals into a single new 'renewable energy
approval' with province-wide standards for renewable energy
projects. To minimize potential delays, the Act exempts renewable
energy projects from prescribed planning approvals issued by
municipalities (including official plan and zoning). The Act is to
be administered to promote community consultation (including
municipalities) through a process prescribed by the province. Also,
consultation requirements for participation by aboriginal interests
may be specified by the province.
Transmission connections – The Act
authorizes incentives and cost recovery programs to encourage the
expansion and upgrade of transmission and distribution systems.
Transmitters and distributors will be required to connect and grant
priority access to renewable energy projects if the project meets
prescribed technical, economic and other regulatory
'Smart grid' – To fully exploit the
potential of renewable energy, 'smart grid' technologies
will be adopted to better accommodate the intermittent energy flows
from wind and solar projects.
Energy conservation – Energy conservation is
to become a priority in Ontario by developing Building Code
conservation standards, requiring conservation and demand
management plans for prescribed consumers, setting electricity
conservation targets for local utilities, creating new financing
tools to encourage small-scale renewable energy projects and
requiring energy audits prior to the sale of homes (which a
purchaser may waive).
While nuclear and hydroelectric power are expected to be the
backbone of Ontario's energy mix over the next few decades, the
Act should make it easier and more profitable to develop renewable
energy projects in Ontario (in particular, rooftop solar). The
majority of legislative changes will come into force upon
proclamation and the specific details regarding the implementation
of the Act will not be available until the draft regulations are
released (likely this summer). Until such details are known, it is
not yet clear whether the Act will spark significant new
development of renewable energy projects in Ontario or what impact
it will ultimately have on the price of electricity in Ontario.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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In Bank of Montreal v Bumper Development Corporation Ltd, 2016 ABQB 363, the Alberta Court of Queen's Bench enforced the "immediate replacement" provision in the Canadian Association of Petroleum Landmen 2007 Operating Procedure...
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