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Ontario says "no" to offshore wind

The Province of Ontario announced today that it's stopping offshore wind development.
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The Province of Ontario announced today that it's stopping offshore wind development.

Ontario is putting the brakes on offshore wind development.

The province released a statement today. The message is pretty clear:

Ontario is not proceeding with proposed offshore wind projects while further scientific research is conducted.

While Ontario hasn't approved any offshore projects to date, the Globe and Mail reports that several were in the planning stages.

And similar to what we've seen on this side of the Great Lakes, the Globe and Mail says offshore wind has caused quite a stir in Canada too:

There was controversy over some of the proposals, as some residents along the lake did not like the idea of their views being disrupted by turbines located in the lake.

Today's announcement from the Province of Ontario means offshore projects won't be eligible for Ontario's popular "Feed-In-Tariff" program (which we reported on in October).

According to the Globe and Mail, Ontario has halted offshore wind once before. A moratorium issued in 2006 was removed in early 2008.

In a statement, Ontario's environment minister says the province will, "be working with our U.S. neighbours to ensure that any offshore wind projects are protective of the environment."

We asked the New York Power Authority (NYPA), which governs issues like offshore wind in N.Y., to comment on today's developments. A spokeswoman replied with an email:

On the Ontario story, NYPA has no comment.

NYPA's in the midst of its own process to create North America's first freshwater offshore wind farm, and is currently mulling five proposals for offshore installations on the U.S. side of Lakes Ontario and Erie. Where exactly those wind farms would be has been a closely kept secret, to avoid setting off opposition from anti-offshore wind advocates.

But word recently has been that the five might have been whittled to four. NYPA President Richard Kessel told the Watertown Daily Times yesterday that a proposed project on the North Country's Galloo Island will not be part of NYPA's plans.

WXXI/Finger Lakes reporter for the Innovation Trail.
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