Ontario receives bids for 4400 MW, mainly wind projects

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Ninety companies have signalled their interest in participating in Ontario's call for 300 MW of renewable energy, proposing projects with a combined capacity of about 4400 MW. Energy Minister Dwight Duncan says he is encouraged by the strong response. "This is a solid indication that we can meet our renewable energy targets, and improve the quality of our air with greener sources of power." The provincial government has said it wants 5% of all generating capacity, about 1350 MW, to come from renewables by 2007 and 10% by 2010. The responses to the government's request for expressions of interest were predominantly wind power, but also included hydro, biomass, solar and landfill gas projects, says the energy ministry's George Nutter. Developers now have until August 25 to submit their final proposals. Successful projects could be announced before the end of the year, with new electricity online as early as 2006. Some have expressed frustration with both the slow pace of the tender process, which started in January, and with the relatively small amount of capacity sought. The strong response shows the government that it could be moving much more quickly to get new renewable capacity in place, says Robert Hornung of the Canadian Wind Energy Association. "We have some concern that what may happen between now and 2010 is a series of nine 300 MW [requests for proposals] and we don't think that is very efficient."

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