The Ontario Sustainable Energy Association has prepared a 60-page report for the Ontario Ministry of Energy, which has expressed an interest in stimulating community-based renewable energy projects for up to 10 megawatts of distributed generation. This would complement the request-for-proposal approach that the province has so far adopted.
“There is growing recognition that a mechanism other than the tendering process is needed to foster development of distributed generation rooted and responsible to the local community. Furthermore, European experience indicates that small, distributed projects with community or local participation result in more renewable energy developed more quickly and increases the public’s acceptance of the technology,” according to the report.
It goes on to say that this approach is largely responsible for the 16,600 megawatts of wind-generating capacity operating today in Germany. Much of that capacity comes from projects of less than 10 megawatts distributed across that country. The same can be said for Denmark and Spain.
“OSEA has concluded that the optimal approach is a Standard Offer Contract mechanism. The cornerstones of this model are 20-year fixed-price contracts for eligible projects, and the right to interconnect to the grid. These core components are underpinned by a rigorous and transparent pricing model that can be applied to all forms of renewable energy.”
I can only hope the province’s Liberal government is seriously considering the recommendations in this report. They would go a long way in not only meeting Ontario’s energy needs, but in creating local industries, jobs, and weaning ourselves off of dirty generation.
Read the report by clicking here.