A presentation made by the Chair at ORA’s 16 October 2021 Annual General Meeting:
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
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
On March 14, 2014, Ontario Rivers Alliance (ORA) submitted a Part II Order request to the Minister of Environment on the Environmental Report for the Marter Township, Blanche River Hydroelectric proposal, on the grounds that, in our opinion, Xeneca Power Development Inc. did not meet the requirements of the Class Environmental Assessment for Waterpower (Class EA) in numerous areas.
ORA is pleased to report that today we received a response from the Minister’s office, stating that “based on the ministry’s review of the Environmental Report, Xeneca has failed to meet the Class EA requirements”.
The Ministry is requiring Xeneca to go back and correct several deficiencies. Once the deficiencies are corrected Xeneca can resubmit its Notice of Completion and Environmental Report. This will be very difficult for Xeneca to fulfill with just one employee and a cell phone. We are still awaiting decisions on the Part II Order requests ORA submitted on the Wabagishik, Frederick House and Ivanhoe Rivers Environmental Reports.
The Marter Township GS ER continually minimizes, confuses, and glosses over the facts to provide the reader with the desired impression that amounts to more of a sales pitch than a relaying of the facts contained in the supporting documentation. The general public are not normally versed in the technical aspects of a waterpower project, and would heavily rely on what is said in the main document – the ER. To rely on the ER for the facts would provide an unrealistic impression of the proposal because it is riddled with inconsistencies and inaccuracies in its translation of the supporting documentation.
In many areas of the ER, the claims are glossed over and do not align with the documentation and studies contained within the ER. Such as in Table 25, where under the issue “Upstream inundation may alter water quality (methyl-mercury) and heavy metals in reservoir”, the resolutions indicate, “No impact anticipated….” Yet, the Hutchinson Report pointed out several reasons why it could be a problem – see comments in No.2.
As MOE staff, pointed out in a July 3, 2013 correspondence to Xeneca, section 4.2.2 of the Class EA for Waterpower projects deals with the identification of potential effects of a project. “An effect is any change to the environment, positive or negative, that could occur as a result of the project…. This Class EA requires the proponent to assess the potential effects as well as any net effects after mitigation and focuses on those effects common to waterpower projects.” The Notice of Completion states, “the ER concludes that there are no significant adverse effects after the application of mitigation and adaptive management measures. The Marter Twp. GS is categorized as a project on a managed waterway pursuant to the Class EA.” Continue reading
This proposal has a Feed-in-Tariff (FIT) contract which pays a 50% peaking bonus for all power generated. FIT Contracts have a 40 year term. Projects with FIT contracts cannot be told to stop generating if Ontario has a surplus of power – they get paid for all power generated whether it is required or not. Proposed to produce 2.1 MW Installed Capacity, which with seasonal flows will more realistically produce 50% of that – approximately 1 MW of power.
ORA has made a Part II Order request to the Minister of Environment to elevate this proposal to an Individual Environmental Assessment – a much more rigorous environmental assessment. Awaiting MOE response.
Published: 14 March 2014
“It is ORA’s submission that Xeneca’s approach falls far short of their claims in many key aspects of this ER, and does its best to sell the reader on the project, with an approach of convincing the reader to just trust them, let them build it, and then through monitoring and adaptive management during pre and post construction the riverine ecosystem will be just fine. This approach is not acceptable.” Read more below: