POLITICS

Ontario lowers premiums for wind, solar power; gives local councils more say

03/18/2012 02:00 EDT | Updated 05/18/2012 05:12 EDT
TORONTO - Ontario municipalities will get more say, but not a full veto over the location of wind and solar projects when the Liberals release a review of their green energy plans this week.

Energy Minister Chris Bentley says the government has listened to municipalities who want more input on where green-energy projects are located.

However, Bentley says Ontario will not return to the days when local councils could reject a proposal to produce electricity in their area.

He says the government will stop short of giving municipalities a veto over wind and solar projects.

The review will also lower the lucrative premiums paid by the province for wind and solar power contracts, which the Opposition blames for sending electricity bills soaring.

Ontario pays up to 80.2 cents a kilowatt hour for solar power and 13.5 cents per kwh for wind power, while residential hydro users pay about 10 cents a kilowatt hour at peak rates.

The Conservatives want to end what they call "massive subsidies" for green energy, and say you can’t power a twenty-first century economy based on when the sun shines and the wind blows.