ON supports local renewable energy investment

September 25, 2009
Sept. 25, 2009, Toronto - The Ontario government has introduced four new programs to provide assistance to community groups and municipalities that are looking to build new renewable energy facilities. Two of these programs target First Nations and Métis communities.

Under the Community Energy Partnerships Program, community groups such as co-ops, nonprofit groups, and local partnerships are eligible for one-time financial assistance of up to $200,000 for project planning costs, including environmental and engineering studies. Community-based projects are eligible to receive a graduated incentive, based on the percentage of local ownership, of up to 1 cent/kWh in addition to standard feed-in tariff rates.

The Municipal Renewable Energy Program will provide support to municipalities for extra infrastructure costs associated with renewable energy projects, for example, repairs to road and drainage infrastructure and traffic management. This funding is intended to cover costs over and above those that the project developers should bear.

Under the $250 million Aboriginal Loan Guarantee Program, Aboriginal communities will be eligible for loan guarantees that will allow them to take on equity participation in renewable generation and transmission projects. The program will facilitate Aboriginal ownership in energy projects by providing loan guarantees for up to 75% of an Aboriginal corporation's equity in an eligible project.

The Aboriginal Energy Partnerships Program will build capacity and participation by providing funds for community energy plans, feasibility studies, technical research, and business plan development, and creating an Aboriginal Renewable Energy Network.

Aboriginal communities will also be eligible, under certain conditions, for price incentives as part of the feed-in tariff program.

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