Ontario officially ends local sourcing

CANADA: Ontario is eliminating local content requirements for future renewable energy projects, claiming it will save consumers C$1.9 billion (US$1.8 billion) over the next 25 years.

Ontario's parliament - province is ending FIT scheme following WTO ruling

The provincial government said earlier this year that it would comply with a ruling by the World Trade Organisation (WTO), which found rules requiring wind projects to include up to 50% domestic content violated international trade laws.

But energy minister Bob Chiarelli made it official on Wednesday by announcing legislation ending what he claimed was always meant to be a temporary measure. The rules, he said, are no longer necessary.

"Ontario has a strong renewable energy sector, one that has created over 31,000 jobs and now exports goods and services around the world," said Chiarelli.

Others, however, have questioned whether those jobs will remain as the province pulls back on its renewable energy purchases. Ontario currently plans to buy 300MW of large-scale wind in 2014 and 300MW in 2015 using a new competitive procurement process.

Chairelli said the projected savings for ratepayers will come from "making clean energy more affordable than ever".

Local content requirements remain in place for yet-to-be constructed projects that already have power purchase contracts with the province.