As of November 9th, the MOE had received 17 applications for renewable energy approvals. Six of these have been deemed “complete” and have been posted to the Environmental Bill of Rights Registry for comments: five wind, 1 biogas. The remainder were sent back for further information, or are still under review. The MOE has set a very high bar for a “complete” application, including several components that are not under the applicant’s control. The MOE expects to receive about 300 more REA applications in the next 3 years.
The proposed offshore wind exclusion zone is still very controversial. The MOE received 1416 written submissions on the topic this summer and it is now under policy review. The claimed adverse health effects of wind turbines also remain controversial, despite the report by the Chief Medical Officer of Health concluding that there is no direct causal link between turbine noise and adverse health effects. The MOE has also commissioned research on how to accurately measure audible noise from wind turbines, and on guidance for managing low frequency noise. Consultant reports on both topics are anticipated soon.
Meanwhile, a guide is being developed for Aboriginal consultation, and should be available for public review by the end of 2010. Finalization of the draft technical bulletins (released March 1) will likely be deferred even longer, until the proposed amendments to O.Reg. 359/09 are finalized.