Ontario cancels 1GW renewables procurement

The province’s energy minister said the decision, which is due to save some $3bn, ‘is not one we take lightly’.

The Ontario government has cancelled the procurement of up to 1GW of renewable energy projects despite developers having already submitted applications.

The province’s Independent Electricity System Operator launched a request for proposals for up to 1GW of wind, solar, hydro and bioenergy projects in July, with a submission deadline of 8 September. It had earlier this year successfully completed a procurement round for 230MW of renewables.

However, a sudden move from the government has seen the programme cancelled with immediate effect, stating that it would save C$3.8 billion ($2.9 billion; €2.6 billion) in electricity system costs. It said it remains committed to renewables through its Long-Term Energy Plan, which is scheduled to be released in Q1 2017.

“Over the course of the last decade, Ontario has rebuilt our electricity system and secured a strong supply of clean power,” Glenn Thibeault, Ontario’s minister of energy, said. “Our decision to suspend these procurements is not one we take lightly. This decision will both maintain system reliability and save up to C$3.8 billion in electricity system costs relative to the 2013 [Long Term Energy Plan] forecast.

“As we prepare for a renewed LTEP, we will continue to plan for our future and ensure Ontario benefits from clean, reliable and affordable power for decades to come.”

A source at a developer which had submitted projects to the tender told Infrastructure Investor he does not believe the government has given up on renewables. He added his company has parked its work for the tender, but is hoping to restart it next year.