Regulation - LGIC

Amendments to the Renewable Energy Approvals Regulation (Ontario Regulation 359/09)

Regulation Number(s):
Ontario Regulation 359/09
Instrument Type:
Regulation - LGIC
Bill or Act:
Environmental Protection Act, R.S.O. 1990, E.19
Summary of Decision:
The changes to the Renewable Energy Approvals regulation mean that current and future applicants for renewable energy approvals will need to show that the proposed project fulfills a need for the electricity produced. They must do so by meeting one or more of the following scenarios:

Using the electricity on-site for their own use
Using the electricity on-site and distributing excess into the distribution system for a credit, via a net metering arrangement with their Local Distribution Company
Having an agreement to supply the electricity for a term of 10 or more years with one or more persons
Intending to sell the electricity at market rates into the IESO administered electricity market as a market participant
Intending to participate in an IESO procurement
In addition, the amended regulation prohibits renewable energy approvals for Class 4 wind facilities from being issued if:

The facility had an agreement with the IESO as part of the Large Renewable Procurement process
That agreement has subsequently been terminated by the IESO
A stop work notice was issued
The requirement to show a need for the proposed electricity applies to new renewable energy projects as well as existing projects if they propose to increase their nameplate capacity and expand onto a new parcel of land.

These changes apply to all applications for renewable energy approvals that are currently under review by the ministry.
Analysis of Regulatory Impact:
Consistent with provincial objectives, the proposed amendments would require proponents for projects under review and any future projects/applications to demonstrate demand for the electricity produced and that appropriate zoning is in place. If the criteria cannot be met, a project will not be eligible for a REA.

While there may be additional time or administrative steps required to gather adequate documentation, it is expected that the additional costs that proponents may face will be negligible (estimated on the order of $3000 to $6000 due to time required to learn about the new requirements and prepare documents).

There is no anticipated marginal cost to government for implementation and delivery of this proposal, as the time required to review the additional documentation is minimal and can be accommodated by the existing program.

The proposal will impact revenue generated from renewable energy approval applications as three wind projects will be ineligible for renewable energy approvals and may receive partial refunds.
Further Information:
Proposal Number:
Posting Date:
September 24, 2018
Summary of Proposal:
Renewable energy in Ontario:

In Ontario, you need a renewable energy approval for large wind, solar or bio-energy projects.

The Renewable Energy Approvals Regulation (Ontario Regulation 359/09) outlines criteria for applicants to get a renewable energy approval.

The Independent Electricity System Operator operates the electricity market and directs the operation of the electrical system in the province. Their recent system planning work shows that Ontario has enough electricity resources for the near future.

On July 13, 2018, the Minister of Energy, Northern Development and Mines directed the Independent Electricity System Operator to wind down 758 renewable energy projects that had not yet reached significant development milestones. They did this as the benefits to ratepayers of winding down the
contracts outweighed the associated costs.

The Independent Electricity System Operator is also conducting an electricity market renewal initiative. This initiative:
* should provide market signals for any future investments needed in Ontario's electricity system
* may include opportunities for renewable energy resources to be purchased in a way that ensures value to Ontario electricity ratepayers and the electricity system.

Renewable energy approvals and the environment:

Renewable energy projects (as with all construction and human activity) may impact the environment.

Projects could impact:
* natural heritage (e.g. animals, birds, insects, trees, and vegetation)
* noise
* groundwater
* surface water

We require project developers to reduce these effects through the renewable energy approvals process so that the benefits of the energy outweigh the impacts to the environment.

Proposed regulation amendment

This proposal reflects the government's position that because Ontario is in a strong supply situation, renewable energy projects should not proceed unless the project developer can show that there is a demand for the electricity, even where potential impacts are reduced.

This regulatory amendment would affect future renewable energy approval applicants and those whose applications are under review when the regulation comes into force. It would not affect renewable energy approvals that have already been issued.


Proposed Green Energy Repeal Act, 2018

The Ministry of Energy, Northern Development and Mines introduced the Green Energy Repeal Act, 2018. If passed, the act would:
* repeal the Green Energy Act, 2009
* make amendments to other existing legislation with the goal of helping consumers lower their energy costs.

If passed, the act would amend the:
* Environmental Protection Act - to enhance the government's authority to prohibit issuing renewable energy approvals, including when the demand for the electricity has not been demonstrated
* Planning Act - to restore municipalities' planning authority related to siting renewable energy generation facilities

We will consult on a separate proposal to remove any duplication in the Renewable Energy Approvals Regulation (Ontario Regulation 359/09) resulting from the Planning Act amendments.
Contact Address:
Client Services and Permissions Branch
135 St. Clair Avenue West
1st Floor
Toronto, ON
M4V 1P5

Service Integration Unit
Phone number
Email address
Effective Date:
June 11, 2019