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NEWS: Ontario government places moratorium on wind power on the Great Lakes

The Globe and Mail reports this morning that, “The Ontario government has called a stop to any offshore wind power projects in the province’s portion of the Great Lakes, until further scientific study is done. …Some of the proposed projects, including one in Lake Ontario just off the Toronto suburb of Scarborough, and another near Kingston, had raised the ire of local residents…” The Toronto Star adds that, “Citing environmental concerns, the Liberals made the surprising announcement Friday that they have placed a moratorium on building wind power projects in freshwater lakes.”

“While there are currently no offshore wind projects anywhere in Ontario, the issue has been a political problem for the Liberals as the October election inches closer and seats in rural areas are up for grabs. …(Ontario) Energy Minister Brad Duguid…said it was done for environmental reasons. ‘There isn’t a lot of science on freshwater offshore wind while there is tons of science on land wind farms,’ Duguid told the Star. Building offshore wind turbine projects in freshwater lakes is early in development and there are no projects in North America, he added. There is one pilot project in Sweden at Lake Vanern and another has been proposed in Ohio. ‘We need some time to review the science and we don’t have it today,’ he said.”

“Offshore projects are merely a fraction of the government’s renewable energy plan, Duguid added. So far, 1,530 feed-in-tariff applications for mostly wind and solar projects have been received by the government to date but less than five were for offshore wind projects, he said. And only one offshore contract in Kingston with Windstream has been accepted out of the almost 1,300 approved contracts, Duguid said. ‘That one project contract won’t be cancelled, it’ll be extended until the science is done,’ Duguid said.”

Another Toronto Star articles notes that, “(In June 2010) the Ontario government proposed new rules that would prevent offshore wind turbines from being installed closer than five kilometres from the shoreline.”

The articles are at–ontario-scraps-offshore-wind-power-plans?bn=1,, and–ontario-faces-u-s-challenge-in-developing-great-lakes-wind-power.