Off-shore wind facilities are classified as Class 5 wind projects and are subject to the Renewable Energy Approval (REA) regulation. Partner ministries are working together to provide greater certainty and clarity on off-shore wind requirements. The Ontario government is proposing an approach and is seeking input from interested members of the public, early in the process, to inform the work that will be completed to finalize the approach and the off-shore wind specific requirements under the REA regulation. This approach will also be supplemented by the outcome of research underway by the Ministry of the Environment, Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR), and Ministry of Tourism and Culture and will be the subject of subsequent Environmental Registry postings that will outline requirements for off-shore wind development as proposed amendments to O. Reg. 359/09 and the REA process.
In addition to this approach to off-shore wind projects, the MNR is undertaking a phased review of Ontario’s current process for making Crown land available for renewable energy projects. The Crown Land Renewable Energy Policy review, Phase 1 was posted on the Environmental Registry on December 22, 2009 for a period of 45 days and proposed procedural alignment changes to ensure that the site release process better supports the green energy initiative. The second phase of this review will include consideration of where, when and how the Government makes Crown land available for off-shore wind projects. Once developed, the Crown Land Renewable Energy Policy review, Phase 2 will be made available for review and comment on the Environmental Registry. For information on the Crown Land Renewable Energy Policy review, Phase 1, see the Environmental Registry posting #010-7895.