Energy & Power
Ontario wants low-risk waterpower projects to get built faster
By Anthony Capkun
February 24, 2022 – The Province of Ontario announced changes to Class Environmental Assessment for Waterpower Projects that will see low-risk waterpower projects get built faster.
“This improvement to our Class Environmental Assessment will encourage new investment in infrastructure across the province while maintaining environmental sustainability,” said Paul Norris, president, Ontario Waterpower Association. “Waterpower was Ontario’s original source of electricity and these perpetual assets will continue to provide affordable, reliable energy for decades to come.”
The changes, says the province, will align the level of risk with the level of assessment “to ensure strong environmental oversight and protection”.
The changes also include creating a streamlined process for identifying waterpower projects that are expected to have no or short-term environmental impacts, such as implementing new technology, undertaking a small dam retrofit or expansion; and, exempting them from environmental assessment requirements.
“Hydroelectric power generation has been serving Ontario’s electricity needs for well over a century, helping us to achieve one of the cleanest electricity grids in the world,” said Todd Smith, Minister of Energy. “These changes to the waterpower Class EA process will help streamline new waterpower opportunities that can further contribute to our province’s clean, reliable and affordable energy future.”