Re-election of Liberal Party premier in Ontario seen as ensuring that renewable energy incentives continue, though passing legislation will require that Liberals work with New Democrats, which favor projects smaller than 30 MW

LOS ANGELES , October 7, 2011 () – Wind energy incentives are considered safe in Ontario with the recent re-election of Liberal Party Premier Dalton McGuinty on Oct. 6, reported North American Windpower on Oct. 7.

However, the loss of the majority in the legislature means that Liberals will have to work closely with the New Democratic Party (NDP) to capture at least one vote needed for Liberals to pass legislation the party supports.

The opposition Progressive Conservative Party leader Tim Hudak campaigned that he would revoke many of the core parts of the province’s Green Energy Act (GEA), end Ontario’s renewable energy initiatives and dismantle the Ontario Power Authority.

Hudak also vowed to end the largest investment commitment under the GEA, a C$7 billion agreement between Ontario and Samsung C&T that included developing 2,500 megawatts (MW) of wind and solar projects, North American Windpower reported.

In Ontario’s 106-seat legislature, the Liberals are one seat short of a majority 54 seats, according to unofficial results from Elections Ontario. This marks the first time since 1985 that Ontario has not been led by a majority government.

While the Liberal Party should be able to rule as if it had a majority, it will need at least one vote from the NDP to pass legislation, said Justin Rangooni, Ontario policy manager at the Canadian Wind Energy Association.

Both parties generally support renewable energy development, he said. However, the NDP is in favor of feed-in tariffs for projects smaller than 30 MW but believes a central agency should oversee larger projects, which are more regional, reported North American Windpower.

The primary source of this article is North American Windpower, Waterbury, Connecticut, in Oct. 7, 2011.

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