Editorial Cartoon by Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Thursday, September 29, 2016
Ontario government scraps plan for $3.8 billion in renewable energy projects
Ontario is blowing off plans for more wind and solar power as it feels the heat over high electricity bills less than two years before a provincial election.
In its latest effort to curb prices, Premier Kathleen Wynne’s government is axing plans to sign another $3.8 billion in renewable energy contracts, Energy Minister Glenn Thibeault said Tuesday.
The move — which the Progressive Conservatives have demanded for years — will prevent $2.45 from being added to the average homeowner’s monthly hydro bill in the coming years.
Thibeault called it a “common sense” decision after the province’s electricity planning agency recently advised there is no “urgent need” for additional supply given Ontario’s surplus of generating capacity.
“I’ve been tasked to find ways to bring bills down,” said Thibeault, who was appointed minister last June. “When our experts said we didn’t need it, that’s when I acted.”
There may be more measures to come, Thibeault hinted in a speech prepared for the Ontario Energy Association on Tuesday night.
He pledged to “take a prudent look at every policy decision that has been made and determine if there is work we can do to reduce costs to Ontarians.”
The projects scrapped Tuesday would have created up to 1,000 megawatts of power, just under one-third of the 3,500 megawatts the four-unit Darlington nuclear power station produces near Oshawa. (Source: Toronto Star)