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Ontario Government Announces 510 New Renewable Energy Projects: New green energy contracts give a boost to solar power in Ontario

For Immediate Release: March 10, 2010

Toronto - Supporters of renewable energy celebrated today as Minister of Energy and Infrastructure Brad Duguid and Ontario Power Authority CEO Colin Anderson announced 510 new renewable energy projects to receive contracts under Ontario's new feed-in tariff (FIT), the incentive program for renewable power. The announcement was made at a Loblaws store in Toronto, one of over 100 stores that will install solar panels as a result of the government's announcement.

"Ontario is on its way to becoming an international renewable energy powerhouse," said Dr. Rick Smith, Executive Director, Environmental Defence and member of the Green Energy Act Alliance. "These new projects will not only have lasting impacts on Ontario's greenhouse gas emissions, but they will help Ontario move towards a green economy by supporting local manufacturing and construction."

A total of 510 contracts were announced today for projects between 10 and 500 kilowatts. Ninety per cent of the contracts announced were for rooftop solar projects. The announcement also included three wind projects, four water power projects, one biomass project and 20 biogas projects, including some on farms. Together, the contracts represent 112.2 megawatts of capacity, eliminating as much as 6,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions annually.

"This announcement is great for showcasing businesses in Ontario, but should also send the message that the Green Energy Act is for households and small businesses as well as individuals and First Nations," said Robert Hellier, Chair of the Ontario Sustainable Energy Association and member of the Green Energy Act Alliance. "Everyone can now participate in generating green energy."

Today's announcement follows a series of actions taken by the Government of Ontario to support renewable energy and energy conservation under the Green Energy and Green Economy Act. An announcement is expected in the coming weeks for the FIT contracts for projects over 500 kilowatts.

"While we are overjoyed that the FIT is off to a good start, there are rules that inadvertently put community owned projects at the disadvantage and, as a result, only a handful are being announced here today," said Deb Doncaster, Executive Director of the Community Power Fund and member of the Green Energy Act Alliance. "One example of this is the one property-one contract rule, which restricts the number of projects on community college and university campuses and large municipal properties with multiple buildings, such as Exhibition Place in Toronto, important sites for community owned projects of varying scales."

About the Green Energy Act Alliance: The Alliance's vision is to make Ontario a global leader in green energy development through the use of renewable energy, distributed energy and conservation, creating thousands of jobs, economic prosperity, and energy security, while ensuring climate protection. Member groups include: the Ontario Sustainable Energy Association, Community Power Fund, the David Suzuki Foundation, Environmental Defence, United Steelworkers, the First Nations Energy Alliance, the Ivey Foundation, the Ontario Federation of Agriculture and the Pembina Institute.
www.greenenergyact.ca

For more information, or to arrange an interview, please contact:
Jennifer Foulds, Environmental Defence (416) 323-9521 ext. 232; (647) 280-9521 (cell)

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