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Category Archives: Hydroelectric

EBR-013-1476 – Draft Government Response Statement for the Recovery of the American Eel

The American Eel Needs Your Help!  You have an opportunity to support the recovery of a species that has declined by 99% of its original population, has been completely extirpated from extensive areas of its native Ontario range, and is in steep decline where it still exists.  The Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry has prepared a Draft Government Response Station for the Recovery of the American Eel in Ontario, and you have until January 11th to sign the Petition below.  More information can be found here.  To add your own comments just click on the letter and type.  Thank you for your help! Continue reading


EBR 012-8840 – Ontario’s Long Term Energy Plan

 

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The Ministry of Energy is undertaking a formal review of Ontario’s Long-Term Energy Plan (LTEP), and comments were due on 16 December 2016.

The LTEP is a road map that will set the direction for Ontario’s energy future over the next 20 years.   More information on this EBR posting can be found here.

The Ministry of Energy must ensure that our electricity supply is environmentally, economically and socially sustainable and affordable.
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Panel Review of the Environmental Assessment Process – ORA Presentation

The Chair of the Ontario Rivers Alliance presented to the Expert Panel on the Review of the Environmental Assessment Process, on Thursday, 3 November 2016, in Sudbury, and also made a detailed written submission below:

Download (PDF, 7.05MB)

Our experience in Ontario is that the Department of Fisheries and Oceans defer to the will of the provincial regulators, which should be the other way around.  We need our federal government to set a high standard that will be followed by the provincial players.  Both the federal and provincial governments have gone through an intensive streamlining process which has undermined confidence in their ability to effectively review applications and Environmental Reports, let alone adequately monitor and enforce the conditions of approvals.  Consequently, environmental protections have become very lacking in these streamlined and broken processes.

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Objection to Feed-in-Tariff Program, FIT Rules Version 5.0.1

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Today I am writing to draw your attention to an issue that was quite concerning.  Rather than make an Application for Review under the Environmental Bill of Rights, I am reaching out to you in the hopes that you will withdraw a recent amendment to the FIT 5 Rules. Continue reading


ORA Meeting with Minister Glenn Thibeault

The Ministry of Energy has included hydroelectric in its renewable energy mix, and the generous rates and peaking bonuses have encouraged a rash of new hydro facilities to be proposed, as well as upgrades and changes to operating strategies that allow facilities to hold water back from downstream flow in order to produce power during peak demand hours. Many power producers arbitrarily adjust their operating strategy by using seasonal operating bands to peak on a daily basis – without first conducting an environmental assessment to determine the potential impacts, or the sustainability of the operation.

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Terminated FIT Contracts

The Ontario Rivers Alliance filed a Freedom of Information Application with the IESO in February of 2016 to obtain the following list of terminated Feed-in-Tariff Contracts: Continue reading


The Dark Side of Hydroelectric – Greenhouse Gas Emissions

One of the most popular energy sources for Canada and globally has been hydroelectric power generation, and the provinces of Ontario, Quebec, Manitoba, and British Columbia are big fans of this particular energy source. One of the main reasons it is so popular is due to the abundance of water in Canada in the form of lakes and rivers that run throughout the provinces.

There was an article by the Montreal Gazette written back in 2011 that took a look at the Romaine River in Quebec and how it was about to turn into one of the biggest construction sites in Canada with the installation of 4 dams, 7 dikes, several large canals, and 279 square kilometers of reservoirs, all at the approximate cost of around $8 billion. What decision makers in Quebec failed to realize or choose to ignore is that harmful greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions are generated by reservoirs and they can be extensive and very damaging to the climate. Continue reading


10 Ontario Rivers Protected from 19 Hydroelectric Projects

Wabagishik Rapids – Vermilion River

MEDIA RELEASE:  For Immediate Release:  13 July 2016

10 Ontario Rivers Protected from 19 Hydroelectric Projects

SUDBURY:  The Ontario Rivers Alliance (ORA) is celebrating a major victory in the protection of 10 Ontario rivers that have been under threat from 19 proposed hydroelectric projects.   Actions taken by the ORA and its members have led to what was considered to be impossible – the termination of 19 Feed-in-Tariff (FIT) Contracts.

In 2011, ORA came into being to address a rash of 87 proposed hydroelectric proposals initiated under the Green Energy Act.  The offer of generous incentives to produce power during peak demand hours had proponents rushing to claim access to falls and rapids on rivers all across the province.  The number of proposals to actually receive FIT Contracts was soon reduced to 41, and of those, Xeneca Power Development Inc. had secured 19 contracts for projects involving 23 Crown sites on 10 Ontario rivers. Continue reading


Wabagishik Rapids Generating Station – Minister’s Decision on Part II Order Request

Wabagishik Rapids, Vermilion River - Photo by Aleta Karstad

Wabagishik Rapids, Vermilion River – Photo by Aleta Karstad

It was very surprising and disappointing to read your decision letter; however, it was somewhat understandable when the Minister’s decision was based upon inaccurate and unsupported responses contained within the Ministry Review (Review) document, Xeneca Power Development Inc.’s (Xeneca) correspondence, and the Environmental Report (ER). Continue reading


EBR 012-5634 – OWA Proposed Major Amendment to the Class EA for Waterpower

Misema River

Misema River

ORA urges the MOECC to reject all aspects of the proposed major amendment to the Class EA for Waterpower (except the minor housekeeping changes), on the grounds that waterpower is far too complex and site-specific to assume that projects under 500 kW at existing infrastructure, or that increases in efficiency of an existing waterpower facility, would be less likely to involve new environmental effects or impact on communities.  This is absolutely wrong thinking for the protection, conservation and wise management of Ontario rivers.

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Download (PDF, 750KB)

Download (PDF, 636KB)


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